Research Project Summary Information
Geothermal Monitoring Systems,(16712)
Geothermal heat pumps are a small and growing segment of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), equipment installations. Many HVAC contractors, with limited training, are starting to install them with varying levels of success. Contractors often have a difficult time diagnosing problems, particularly intermittent ones, and frequently have to make multiple trips to resolve one service issue. The frustration and expense from being unable to diagnose operational problems can drive a contractor away from geothermal systems. Homeowners often do not discover they have a problem, particularly one that affects efficiency, such as a clogged filter, until their next utility billing cycle, resulting in months of poor operation due to lack of real time operational information. There are many examples of an undetected problem going unresolved for months, resulting in excessive electricity use and component failure and replacement that would not have been necessary if a monitoring and alert system was in place. Potential geothermal customers often hear about unresolved problems with geothermal systems and decide to stay with fossil fuel because they are afraid of making an expensive mistake.
A profile of how critical system components are performing under the varying day-to-day load and demand conditions would provide the end user of this information a practical means for analyzing system performance over time. This would deliver system efficiency and health metrics by collecting and correlating context sensitive analog and digital information from these components. In addition to monitoring the system for general system performance, a watchdog application can be used to alert someone if a critical threshold is exceeded.
The Contractor has designed and deployed three test versions of a low cost, scalable, energy monitoring and logging system enabling real time monitoring of geothermal heating and cooling systems to support the homeowner and service provider with accurate system performance information in real time. These have been in operation for over two years. Consequently, the approach, the hardware concept, and the data analysis logic have been tested and proven viable.
•Monitoring, diagnostic system providing instantaneous reaction to operational problems: projected savings of - 200 kWh/month by detecting dirty inline filter or system loop pressure drop, preventing fan motor continuous run
•Monitoring of geothermal system provides intelligence to technician to improve diagnostic capabilities
315 E. Kerley Corners Road
Tivoli, NY 12583
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Buildings Research