The latest and greatest in industry happenings, straight from the desk ofND's editor.

NDA's Board of Directors

The National Drilling Association (NDA) has announced its new leadership for 2012:

President – Dan Dunn, Major Drilling America Inc., Salt Lake City.     

Past president – Peggy McGee, Ranger Consulting Inc., Rome, Ga.

Vice president – Larry Gibel, Ohio TestBor Inc., Hinckley, Ohio.      

Secretary/treasurer – Tim Augustine, Bowser-Morner Inc., Dayton, Ohio.

The board of directors:
  • Rob Caho, Diedrich Drill Inc., LaPorte, Ind.

  • Warren McCann, Subsurface Technologies, North Plains, Ore.

  • David Neibert, Central Mine       Equipment Co., Earth City, Mo.

  • Steve Parisano, Sano Drilling Inc., Sewell, N. J.

  • Frank Villella, Hoffman Diamond Products, Punxsutawney, Pa.

  • Timothy Cleary, Gregg Drilling and Testing Inc., Moss Landing, Calif.

  • Dennis Duty, Baroid Industrial Drilling Products, Dillwyn, Va.

  • Jim Howe, Geotechnology Inc., St. Louis.

  • Carlos Lemos, Ambient Technologies Inc., Saint Petersburg, Fla.

  • Mick Willey, Earth Matters Inc., Ellicott, Md.
The board currently is planning for educational presentations and outdoor drilling demonstrations for the NDA 2012 Convention to be held Sept. 12–14 at the Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor in Plymouth, Mass.

New California Geo Organization

Contributed by the folks at the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO):

California Geo is the working title of an organization that has hit the ground running in the Golden State. “A state geothermal heat pump (GHP) organization like ours has been sorely needed for quite a long time,” says Phil Henry, of Geoexchange Solutions Inc., who has spearheaded the effort.

The group convened an organizing meeting to review legislative language in the Geothermal Heat Pump Deployment Act of 2012, which the group hopes to introduce in the California General Assembly. The revenue-neutral measure would seek recognition of geothermal heat pumps as a renewable energy resource that should be included in energy efficiency policies.

California Geo organizers unanimously agreed to form and support a state geothermal heat pump association, and to support and fund a lobbying coalition to support its legislation. In pursuit of that goal, GeoExchange Solutions Inc. has engaged Ecoconsult for a one-year lobbying services contract.

According to Henry, a California market study called Project Negatherm delineated several structural, regulatory and administrative reforms that would benefit the market reach of GHPs in California. “We have a great story to tell,” he says. “We must educate consumers, regulators, legislators and others about the benefits of geothermal heat pumps, overcome barriers to acceptance, and integrate them into the mainstream of California policies for energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

“We anticipate California Geo filing as a separate 501c3 non-profit that will register, together with nine other supporting entities, as a lobby coalition with the California Secretary of State,” Henry explains. “California Geo’s mission will be to build awareness of geoexchange technology, and to build support for greatly increased implementation throughout the state across all climate zones.”

For more information, as well as to help support the organization, e-mail Phil Henry –  phil@geoexchange

Watts Buys tekmar Control Systems

Watts Water Technologies Inc., North Andover, Mass., has completed the acquisition of tekmar Control Systems in a share-purchase transaction.

Watts Water Technologies’ president of North America, Srinivas Bagepalli, comments, “tekmar is a designer and manufacturer of proprietary control solutions for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning applications. Its products are designed to add value to any building by improving the efficiency, reliability, comfort and quality of indoor living. tekmar has pioneered technologies that advance the capabilities of HVAC systems and provides superior customer support and training. tekmar provides energy saving control solutions for a wide range of hydronic (water-based) systems, which we believe will complement our existing product offering.”

tekmar Control Systems had annual revenues in 2011 of approximately $11 million. The company is located in Vernon, British Columbia.

Watts Water Technologies Inc. manufactures products to control the efficiency, safety and quality of water within residential, commercial and institutional applications.

Exceptional Geothermal Project

In the shadow of two outdated smokestacks and four antiquated coal-fired boilers, Ball State University has started the second and final phase of converting the university to a geothermal ground-source heat pump system – the largest project of its kind in the United States.

The conversion, started in 2009 to replace the coal boilers, now provides heating and cooling to nearly half the campus. This phase of the project was dedicated in March.

When the system is complete, the shift from fossil fuels to a renewable energy source will reduce the university’s carbon footprint by nearly half, while saving $2 million a year in operating costs.

Ball State is installing a vertical, closed-loop district system that uses only fresh water. The system uses the Earth’s ability to store heat in the ground and water thermal masses. A geothermal heat pump uses the Earth as either a heat source, when operating in heating mode, or a heat sink, when operating in cooling mode.

Under the direction of Jim Lowe, director of engineering, construction and operations, work has begun on Phase 2, which includes installation of 780 of the remaining 1,800 boreholes in a field on the south area of campus.

Drilling contractors on the job are Enlink Geoenergy Services Inc., Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; Dedicated Geothermal LLC, Loretto, Minn.; and Eaton Well Drilling, West Liberty, Ohio.

Construction will continue throughout 2013-2014, and will include a new District Energy Station South, containing two 2,500-ton heat pump chillers, and a hot water loop around the south portion of campus. The system then will connect to all buildings on campus - eventually providing heating and cooling to 5.5 million square feet.

“When costs began to escalate for the installation of a new fossil fuel burning boiler, the university began to evaluate other renewable energy options,” Lowe says. “This led to the decision to convert the campus to a more efficient geothermal-based heating and cooling system.”