Paul Selking is the vice president of commercial sales and marketing for Water Furnace, which manufactures and distributes geothermal and water source heating and cooling systems for residential and commercial buildings.
Host Vic Marinich, global marketing director for air conditioning at Danfoss, is joined by Paul Selking of Water Furnace to discuss the benefits of using geothermal heating systems in commercial buildings and the opportunities for increased adoption created by the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Geothermal heat pumps use energy from the ground. The ground is a big heat sink and we view it as renewable energy. With a geothermal heat pump, we transfer the energy between the building and the ground by using groundwater. And we use that to heat and cool year-round.
- Both geothermal and air source heat pumps both have the same function, but one uses air and the other uses water to create heat. A water or ground source heat pump is up to twice as efficient as an air source heat pump.
- Geothermal systems work well when there are differentiated loads in a building. One example would be an educational building where occupants move around are not in the same place all day. Geothermal heat pumps move hot and cold water within the building to the space where it is needed. In office buildings where people work from home on some days, you can utilize a geothermal heat pump with a variable-speed compressor to adjust for varying loads.
- It is easier to install a geothermal heating system in new construction. But it is possible to do a retrofit. The Towson Courthouse project in Baltimore, MD, which was recognized with Danfoss’ 2021 EnVisioneer of the Year award, is a good example.
- As we strive to increase energy efficiency and lower our carbon footprint, capturing and reutilizing excess heat, as geothermal heat pumps do, can help us reach our climate goals. Danfoss recently released a white paper on how much energy can be utilized from reusing heat.
- Since geothermal heat pumps use water to transfer energy, reducing refrigerant charge and carbon emissions.
- The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides for a 30% tax credit for installing commercial geothermal systems. Purchasing from a U.S. provider provides an additional 10%. There are also incentives for contractors and designers.
- Ultimately, we could see utilities building district loops that allow water lines to be connected to geothermal heat pumps.
- In order to increase adoption of geothermal heat pumps, all stakeholders – contractors, manufacturers, utilities, property owners – need to be in sync and working together.
More information on the 2023 HVAC efficiency standards
For more information on geothermal heat pumps, visit https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/geothermal-heat-pumps
To learn more about the energy and climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, visit https://www.energy.gov/lpo/inflation-reduction-act-2022
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For more information and additional episodes of the EnVisioneering Exchange podcast, visit https://www.danfoss.com/en-us/about-danfoss/insights-for-tomorrow/envisioneering-exchange/