Ground Source Heat Pump Track Added to ASHRAE Annual Conference

April 29, 2014
The Ground Source Heat Pump session addresses all aspects of design that lead to optimally performing systems.

A new track added to the Technical Program at ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference speaks to the challenges engineers face when designing ground source heat pumps as compared to more traditional systems.

The Conference takes place June 28-July 2, Seattle, WA. For more information or to register, visit

The Technical Program kicks off June 29, with interactive programs and a networking coffee break, and concludes July 2. The program addresses broad topics in the application of technology to practice, specific applications in ground source heat pumps, operations and maintenance and indoor environmental quality, as well as new reports on research taking place worldwide.

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) State of the Art: Design, Performance and Research addresses all aspects of design that lead to optimally performing systems in addition to avoiding common pitfalls that lead to poorly performing systems.

The track was organized by ASHRAE, the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) and the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO).

“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,” Jeff Spitler, an ASHRAE member 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 organizers have drawn in researchers from around the world to discuss new advances in the field so attendees have 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  (what tools and design guides are available), and where it is headed (through the programs showcasing current research),” Lisa Meline, recent chair of ASHRAE’s 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.”

Sessions in the track are:

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 takes place at the Sheraton Seattle and the Washington State Convention Center. To register or more information, visit