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.