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Large-Scale Geothermal Systems

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an educational overview of large-scale geothermal technologies
While there are mechanical and HVAC systems that we are asked to “value-engineer,” many HVAC systems are installed for owners that are in this for a long-term investment. This course focuses on the latter; this is an important topic on new-builds and retrofits, and it will be obvious why an increasing number of owners are choosing geothermal sourced HVAC systems.

When a client is building new and wants to ensure a long-lasting, nearly tamper-proof system, they find that geothermal provides a long list of benefits that simply are not available in standard chiller plants or direct-expansion systems. Geothermal HVAC systems eliminate the need for cooling towers, outside condensers, and most other equipment that can clutter rooftops, or need to be placed outside the building. Outside equipment tends to be loud and maintenance-intensive.

Most of the maintenance and service dollars are expended on cooling towers and outside equipment. Inside equipment tends to run better because it’s protected from the elements. Cooling towers are labor-intensive, and with the recent CDC findings, quite a health and human safety risk. With the new data from the CDC on risks, many may choose geothermal to be insulated from such a liability as the threat of Legionnaires’ disease from infected cooling towers.

Government buildings use geothermal sourced HVAC systems for many of the reasons alluded to above.Some reasons that are not so obvious have to do with security. In an emergency event, having the equipment all-inside in a secured building makes the building more tamper-proof. Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) and other government and Federal buildings are making the switch just for the security risk, and are finding tremendous bonuses of longevity and security.