September 2011 ESPCO Newsletter


The location of the September classes originally scheduled to be held at the Holiday Inn, Carle Place, NY has been changed to the classroom of Rathe Associates, 1650 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735. Thanks to Don Rathe for his generous offer allowing us to use his facility and I encourage everyone to go to Don’s website and patronize the many terrific HVAC product lines he represents.

There are many open seats for all September classes so please register today under the “Training Events” tab.

The timing of these September classes is perfect to refine some of your existing HVAC skills and learn new ones as well before the winter rush of activity when you won’t have time to attend a class. Please help spread the word about the classes…the classes are contingent on a minimum number of registrants so lets get a full house for each date! I don’t know when I will be conducting classes on Long Island again so please take advantage of this unique opportunity….REGISTER RIGHT NOW!


Last month I wrote that I was learning about the Daikin Altherma product and how impressed I was with it. Take a look at my endorsement of Altherma at the LaDuke Radiant Sales website at this address.

LaDuke Radiant Sales was formed in 2010 by Barry E. LaDuke in cooperation with Hydronic Workshop and Ecowarm to provide internet direct hydronic product sales, consultation and education to building and heating professionals. LaDuke Radiant Sales focuses on innovative new products and services in the radiant floor heating industry and serves the Pacific Northwest (AK, WA, OR, Northern Idaho).

I encourage my friends in Barry’s neck of the woods to check out his website and give him a call…we’re all in this thing together and Barry can be a great resource for you!


So much to get you up to date about with my activities in the geothermal world this past month but let’s start with something I neglected to mention in previous newsletters about the ongoing project of geothermal heated and cooled homes in Montgomery, NY.

My friends at Malmark Construction and Geotemp Geothermal Services are not only heating and cooling the 34 new homes with geothermal but they are heating the domestic hot water as well!

The system utilizes a desuperheater. A desuperheater is a heat exchanger that removes the high-grade, (high temperature), superheat available in the refrigerant gases exiting the heat pump compressor. Depending on the heat pump design and operating conditions, superheat temperatures of 200 degree Fahrenheit and greater may be reached.

Let’s step back for a moment and recall what superheat is exactly.

Superheat is the heat added to a substance, (in this case refrigerant), above its saturation temperature. As the load across an evaporator increases the available refrigerant will boil off more rapidly. If it is completely evaporated prior to exiting the evaporator, the vapor itself will continue to absorb heat. This heat is referred to as superheat.

A desuperheater’s function with ground source heat pumps is very similar to their function with central air conditioning. During cooling, heat pumps operating to provide air conditioning generate unused heat. This heat can be reclaimed and can therefore be considered a “free” source of energy for generating domestic hot water.

During the heating mode the functions of the condenser and the evaporator are reversed by a four-way reversing valve. This requires the desuperheater to be installed between the compressor and the reversing valve.

In the Bosch / Florida Heat Pump product, the “heat recovery package” as they call it includes an internally protected pump, double walled coaxial water-to-refrigerant heat exchanger, 140 degrees F hot water temperature limit and an on / off switch / circuit breaker.

The installations in the homes in Montgomery, NY utilize two Rheem Marathon water heaters. You can see a typical piping diagram for the tanks at this address.

The tanks have electric elements that offer back-up capacity if required, (though usually the heat pump will provide 100% of the domestic hot water needs of the home while the heat pump is operating).

It is acceptable to circulate the domestic water directly from the desuperheater to the water tank, (remember, the water-to-refrigerant heat exchanger is doubled walled so there is no opportunity for contamination of the domestic water as it flows through the desuperheater).

The circulator between the tank and the desuperheater may be activated by an aquastat in the tank and / or in the desuperheater. The circulator normally is connected to the compressor contactor which limits the desuperheater unit to operation during heat pump operation.

Next Wednesday I will be documenting the flushing and purging of one of the systems so next month’s newsletter will address this function.


I mentioned in last month’s newsletter that I had been accepted into the International Ground Source Heat Pump Associations, (IGSHPA), “Train the Trainer” program. I spent the week of 8/21/11 at the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. I have to tell you it was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I am proud to say that I have earned the title of IGSHPA Accredited Trainer. There were five of us chosen for the opportunity to earn accreditation and we became quick friends. My partners in training are:

Glen Bowen of Bard Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Eddie Hardee of Alabama Power
Dennis Fritschle of RE Michel Co., Inc.
Michael Paradis of Kennebec Valley Community College, Maine

Each of us was assigned a lesson to teach an IGSHPA Certified Installer class which was being held the last three days of the week. I was assigned to instruct the lesson on “Grouting Procedures for Ground-Source Heat Pumps”.

Now, those of you who have attended one of my classes know that I always try to have some fun with whatever the subject might be but I have to tell you it was awfully hard to find any thing that was sexy and / or fun about grouting a GSHP vertical borehole but I managed.

I had some fun with the word “annulus”, (the void between the walls of the vertical borehole and the heat exchanger tubes), as you might imagine.

This brings me to a brand new feature on my website…VIDEOS!  I have posted a video of a portion of my presentation in the new “Media” page of my website. You simply click on “Media” at the top menu bar and the click on “Videos”. You will see the first video is my class presentation.

Now, as you watch the video you may notice I am having what could look like a convulsion at both the beginning and the end of the video…let me explain.

The IGSHPA Certified Installer class ends with a 100 question test that requires a minimum score of 90% to pass. I passed this test back in June of this year and I have to tell you that I didn’t think it was as easy as some make it out to be. Yes, it is an open book test but any test of 100 questions with a minimum passing score of 90% is intimidating.

In my preparation for my presentation on grouting I was determined to help the students as best I could, without breaking any rules, in identifying areas of my presentation that they would see on the test. I told them when I started that if they saw me giving the “bunt sign” like a third base coach would give in baseball to a batter, then whatever I was talking about at the time I gave the signal was surly going to be on the test. Well, I think it worked real well and I would like to hear from the Certified Installer students and find out how they did on the test…I think they at least got all the questions related to grouting correct!

I have also added a new sub-category in the “Gallery” titled “IGSHPA Train the Trainer, 8/11,  Stillwater, OK”. The “Gallery” is now found under the “Media” tab along with the new “Video” section. You can see a picture of me with Dr. Jim Bose. Dr. Bose is the founder of IGSHPA and Director of the Division of Engineering Technology at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Bose is, in my opinion, the single most important person in the advancement of geothermal technology in North America and it was an honor to spend time with him.

You will also see pictures of the IGSHPA state-of-the-art classroom in Stillwater, OK as well as their lab facility where students learned butt and socket fusion welding techniques from Howard Newton of Bosch Thermotechnology and IGSHPA Training Committee Chairperson. Hands-on flushing and purging training conducted by Warren Lewis also took place in the lab.

The IGSHPA Certified Installer students were varied in their roles within the geothermal community as well as their geographic locations. Represented in the class were well drillers, university students, construction managers, geothermal equipment manufacturers and a group of Sioux Indians from the Fort Peck Tribes in Montana.

I want to make a special mention of Phil Rains and Mark Gallier of Bosch Thermotechnology who were in the installer class. These two men, along with my new friend, Glen Bowen of Bard Manufacturing who was one of the trainers working for IGSHPA trainer accreditation as I was, are all incredibly talented geothermal trainers and when the Bosch and / or Bard geothermal show comes to a town near you, don’t miss it…these guys are GREAT!


I have mentioned the addition of a “Videos” section under the new “Media” tab on my website. In addition to a portion of my IGSHPA presentation in Stillwater, OK, I have also added an edited thread of videos I took at the Montgomery, NY geothermal jobsite. The video includes footage of the backfill procedure of the trenches containing the slinky ground source heat exchanger and also Shane Kanter of GeoTemp Geothermal Services demonstrating socket fusion welding of the heat exchanger components. I’m really pleased with this section of the website and stay tuned for videos of the flushing and purging process of GHEX which I hope to have posted for the October newsletter.


I just want to thank Tim Sherwood of Dual Media Solutions for all his great work on my website. No matter where I go, people always compliment my website. Now, I do take credit for all it’s content, written, pictorial and now, videos…but Tim is the guy who takes my ideas and brings them to life on the website. He is an extraordinarily talented young man and I recommend him highly for your business. You can link to Tim’s website from the “links” page of my site or go there directly at this address: