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ASHRAE 2014 Annual Conference to Feature Ground-Source-Heat-Pump Track

April 30, 2014
“Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) State of the Art: Design, Performance and Research” will address all aspects of design, as well as avoidance of common pitfalls.

ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference, which will be held June 28 to July 2 in Seattle, will feature a new track on ground-source heat pumps.

Organized by ASHRAE, the National Ground Water Association, the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, and the Geothermal Exchange Organization, the track, “Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) State of the Art: Design, Performance and Research,” will address all aspects of design leading to optimally performing systems, as well as avoidance of common pitfalls leading to poorly performing systems.

“There are a number of challenges that engineers face that are different from conventional HVAC systems, such as ground coupling, working with drillers, the importance of annual heating and cooling loads to ground-heat-exchanger design,” ASHRAE member Jeff Spitler, who helped create the track, said. “This track addresses the entire design and installation process from site evaluation to commissioning and system operation. In addition, GSHP systems are inherently energy-efficient, but poor choices in the design can compromise this inherent efficiency. ‘What not to do’ is also addressed in the track.”

Spitler said researchers from around the world will discuss new advances in the field, giving attendees the opportunity to hear about both the latest research and state-of-the-art design practice.

“We want to help practicing engineers understand where the industry began, where it stands currently, and where it is headed,” Lisa Meline, recent chair of ASHRAE Technical Committee 6.8, Geothermal Heat Pump and Energy Recovery Applications, said. “We also hope to impart guidance to the practicing engineers on the ground-heat-exchanger portion of a ground-source design. Many engineers shy away from this type of design because they don’t understand it. We want to change that and reinforce the need to provide single point of responsibility for all different types of HVAC-system designs, including this one.”

The technical program will begin June 29 with interactive programs and a networking coffee break. Sessions in the GSHP track will be:

Sunday, June 29

  • Step 1: Assessing a Project Site for Geothermal Heat Pump Applications
  • Ground Source Heat Pump System Performance Case Studies in Different Climates Around the World
  • GEO 2.0: From the Ground Up, an Overview of the Updated ASHRAE GSHP ‘Blue Book’
  • Ground Source Heat Pump System Case Studies

Monday, June 30

  • Geothermal Heat Pump Track Keynote Presentation
  • Documentation and Contract Administration in Tendered and Design/Build Ground-Coupled Heat Pump Projects
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps: Historical Perspective and Track Overview

Tuesday, July 1

  • Monitoring of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems
  • What the Well?
  • New Developments in Simulation and Modeling of Ground Heat Exchangers

Wednesday, July 2

  • Ground Source Systems Commissioning and Closeout: Unique Issues, Avoiding Fatal Flaws and Ensuring Client Satisfaction
  • Central Plant GCHP Systems
  • Optimization of Ground Coupled Heat Exchangers and Heat Pumps

The conference will be held at Sheraton Seattle and the Washington State Convention Center. For more information and to register, visit

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Scott Arnold | Executive Editor

Described by a colleague as "a cyborg ... requir(ing) virtually no sleep, no time off, and bland nourishment that can be consumed while at his desk" who was sent "back from the future not to terminate anyone, but with the prime directive 'to edit dry technical copy' in order to save the world at a later date," Scott Arnold joined the editorial staff of HPAC Engineering in 1999. Prior to that, he worked as an editor for daily newspapers and a specialty-publications company. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University.