When ASHRAE’s original book on geothermal ground source heat pumps was published 17 years ago, the systems were used mainly in residential settings and those who used them were considered risk takers. Now the technology is much more popular and lessons learned since that time have been included in a newly published book from ASHRAE, “Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Design of Ground-Source Heat Pump Systems (GSHP).”

The new book is a complete revision of “Ground-Source Heat Pumps: Design of Geothermal Systems for commercial and Institutional Buildings,” published in 1997 and recognized as the primary reference for non-residential GSHP installations.The new version was written by Steve Kavanaugh, professor emeritus at the University of Alabama, and Kevin Rafferty, a consulting engineer from Klamath Falls, Ore. Both have spent the last 25 years focused on geothermal GSHP work.

“One of the realities of the GSHP industry is that, to some degree, it has been a victim of its own success,” Rafferty says.  “Years ago the struggle was to simply get design teams to consider using the technology. Though this is still an issue in some areas, nationally it is far less of an issue than 20 years ago.”

The book provides benchmarks, design strategies and information necessary for engineers to configure the most efficient and cost effective systems. It is meant to help them avoid problems including inefficient pumping, high cost ground loop designs, inadequate outside air provisions and unnecessarily complex control schemes.

As part of the revision, seven of the original eight chapters and appendices were completely rewritten and now include coverage of close-loop ground (ground-coupled), groundwater, surface water, GSHP equipment and GSHP piping.  Additional information on site characterization has been added including a new hydro-geological chapter. The final chapter was replaced and the new section contains results of recent field studies, energy and demand characteristics and updated information to optimize GSHP system cost.

The cost of “Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Design of Ground-Source Heat Pump Systems” is $128 ($109, ASHRAE members).

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society that serves to advance human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. ASHRAE conducts research, standards writing, publishing, certifications and continuing education. For more information on ASHRAE or to order the book, visit www.ashrae.org.