Cain Thomas Associates Specializes in Geo-Source Heating System Design.


Geo-Source Heating Systems

Geo-Source heating systems fall into Green system category. Although "Green" seems to be one of the latest "Buzz" words in the construction industry, this is one area where our mechanical and electrical engineering team has been designing systems for years.

We have a company philosophy of designing energy-conscious, comfortable buildings while working within client budget constraints. We have a natural tendency to conserve whenever possible and we design systems that enhance the working environment.

Geo-Source heating systems have several advantages for owners who are energy and environmentally conscious:

  • Buildings that are heated and cooled by Geo-Source systems do not require natural gas or propane. As a result, the building does not release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The annual cost of using a Geo-Source system is less than conventional heating and cooling systems.
  • The cost of electricity to run the Geo-Source systems is not subject to the large fluctuations in price that gas systems see each year. As a result, budgeting for seasonal heating and cooling needs becomes easier.
  • Utilities generally offer rebates for installing these energy efficient systems, and some utilities offer a reduced rate structure for buildings that completely use electricity.

The picture below shows a typical loop field laid out prior to burial. This field will perform particularly well because of the high water table. This will increase the loop field's ability to transfer heat. After the field is buried, there will be no indication that there is a buried system in the area. The space will be landscaped, creating a visually appealing green space.

A typical loop field layout

This diagram of a Geo-Source loop system is made up of a well field loop and a building loop. The well field loop transfers heat to the earth during cooling season and draws heat from the earth during heating season. The building loop acts as the heating/cooling source for specially designed heat pumps to supply heating or cooling to a room. Pumps circulate fluid in and out of the well field and around the building.

Carlton County Loop Field

Cain Thomas Associates designed the Carlton County Loop Fieldd.This photograph shows the slinky loop field for the Geo-Source heating system prior to its burial. This loop field is located under a large parking area at the Carlton County Maintenance Facility. There was a concern that frost would penetrate the well field in the winter so the county implemented a unique solution. This field was insulated from the surface with recycled shredded rubber tires prior to paving the area over the field.

Family of Christ Geo Pumps

Cain Thomas Associates  designed geo pumps Family of Christ.The mechanical room at Family of Christ Church houses the well field header for the loop field. The space required for this equipment uses less square footage than a boiler system and the space has fewer restrictions than a typical mechanical room. The space is also very easy to keep clean.

Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems

With current IAQ Codes/ASHRAE Standards 62.1 and 62.2, large volumes of outside air are required. This requires significant amounts of energy to heat, cool, and dehumidify the large volumes of outside air. Total Energy Recovery Wheels/Ventilators (ERV's) are typically 70 -75% effective, decreasing outside air energy requirements. The ERV's also provide continual dehumidification by transferring the high humidity out of the outside air to the exhaust airstreams. ERV's typically have minimal first cost premiums, due to the tonnage savings.

Family of Christ Geo-Pumps Diagram.