Benefits of geothermal HVAC in commercial applications – Part 1
Geothermal technology is a perfect solution for commercial, residential and multi-unit buildings.
It wasn't too long ago that water source heat pump or boiler systems for commercial were predominately 90 percent of the installations, but now the split is 50-50. Shilai Xie, product manager with Bosch Thermotechnology Corp., discussed some of the advantages for geothermal HVAC in commercial projects.
"Geothermal is especially effective in larger buildings and multifamily dwellings because it's more efficient and you have energy recovery or heat recovery. In a commercial building, especially a building that has multiple functionalities, you may need heating and cooling at the same time.
"In the winter, even if it is minus 20 outside, you might want to cool your equipment room, mechanical room, computer room or server room. Now-a-days, with construction so tightly sealed you have much less heat loss.
"There might be southern exposure rooms you want to cool down, while the northern side of the building needs heat. With a geothermal heating system you can use the heat from the southern part dissipated from the mechanical or server room to heat the rooms that need heating in the northern side rooms.
"The water in the loop is being distributed throughout the building, so the wasted heat can be reused. That is why it's called heat recovery. The system is already recycling energy that is in the building. So that is why for commercial buildings geothermal makes even more sense.
"Geothermal is more efficient in commercial building than it is in residential applications. Most of the geothermal units are self-contained, so you have a decentralized system with built-in redundancy, so basically if one geothermal heat pump breaks down, it doesn't impact any other units."