Victoria Chapter

Geothermal Energy: to heat and cool buildings

Ed Lohrenz

There is a form of geothermal energy which makes use of the ground at normal temperatures within a few tens of metres of the surface as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer to economically, efficiently and sustainably heat and cool buildings. These systems go by a variety of names including direct geothermal systems, ground energy systems, ground source heat pump systems and geoexchange systems. While these systems are extensively used in other countries, they are rare in Australia. However, for a range of reasons, this is soon going to change dramatically.

During his short visit to Australia, Ed Lohrenz will present a workshop on the use of geothermal energy to heat and cool buildings. Ed has worked in the geothermal industry for over 30 years as an installing contractor, equipment supplier, manufacturer and consultant. He is an accredited trainer for the lnternational Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) for both the Accredited installer Course and the Certified Geoexchange Designer Course. He is a partner with the Canadian company Geo-Xergy Systems lnc, which was founded to meet the growing demand for greater energy performance in building systems. In addition to thousands of residential projects, he has been involved in the design, installation and commissioning of many commercial buildings and facilities throughout Canada, the US and internationally. Several of his projects have achieved LEED certification and have been awarded national and provincial energy efficiency awards.

In addition to discussing the basic concepts and general principles, this workshop will consider:

  • What differentiates geothermal from conventional HVAC systems
  • Why home and business owners would choose geothermal systems
  • What kinds of projects can work with geothermal systems
  • How geothermal projects can be made more cost-effective to install
  • Challenges with designing and installing geothermal systems

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.