Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Phoenix metro area part of geothermal heat pump study

The greater Phoenix metropolitan area is one of 30 across the country that will be analyzed to see how geothermal ground loop systems (heat pumps) can be more widely deployed than the 2% of heating and cooling they now provide.

A 3-year DOE-funded project by Bob Lawrence & Assoc. and the California Geothermal Energy Collaborative will cover the largest metro areas of the country with the largest data collection every undertaken to identify the relationship between installation cost and location factors.

The project will gather data in two areas:

1) Manufacturing and installation cost data will be sought from GHP manufacturers and their suppliers, contractors, engineers, installers, drillers, and others.

2) Geological and geographical data--including soil types, thermal conductivity, heat flow, hydrological properties, and heating and cooling demand--will be collected and analyzed for the 30 metropolitan areas.

The "conventional wisdom" among many is that geothermal heat pumps are ineffective in Arizona because of dry soils. But areas with similar conditions such as Albuquerque have a robust industry.

We expect all the data to be incorporated into the National Geothermal Data System that AZGS is helping design, build, and deploy nationwide.


  1. I was at a green homebuilding expo in Phoenix in 2009 and talked to the people at Shasta Pools who developed a very innovative way around the dry soils of Phoenix. Their technology is well worth checking out

  2. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Heard the same thing. I understand they're making some real headway there.

  3. Geothermal Heat Pump are smaller than a typical heating and cooling system and so they will take up less space in your home and that can leave you more room.

  4. Good post, very interesting

  5. Geothermal heat pumps are a relatively new technology that can save homeowners money. These ground-source heat pumps use the natural heat storage capacity of the earth or ground water to provide energy efficient heating and cooling.

  6. Heating a house is not the only thing a geothermal system can do. Just by flipping a switch, you can change from heating to cooling. Also, the system can be used to pre-heat a tank for a hot water heater. It can even be used to generate electricity by heating water and generating steam.