Geothermal heat pumps, geothermal, ground-source heat pumps, ground-coupled heat pumps, GHP, GSHP, GeoExchange, Closed Loop, Open Loop, Direct Exchange, Standing Column Well

11 Tips for Proper Manual J Calculations for Geothermal Contractors

Many geothermal and general contractors pay a subcontractor to perform Manual J calculations when its required.  Accurate heating and cooling loads are absolutely critical to properly designing a geothermal system (See 4 Steps to Designing a Geothermal System) and according to Ryan Carda creator of Loop Links, its the number one more common mistake that geothermal designers make in the design process. If you’re new to geothermal, download the geothermal survival kit to get a better understanding of how the technology works.

In many states, it is now a requirement to perform a manual J calculation to pull a permit for any HVAC job. If you are a general contractor or geothermal installer it will pay to do your own Manual J calculations because so much of the job depends upon accurate loads.  Continue reading to learn the 11 tips to creating the best Manual J calculations for your job.


Designing a “Sellable” Solar (or Geothermal) Company – Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about my marketing plan for starting a renewable energy company that will be an offshoot of an existing construction company in the great state of Maine. Now, I’m going to discuss how we’ll be setting up the marketing and sales engine that will drive the businesses. Some have asked if I’m nervous about posting this information (as if I’m giving away some sort of “trade secrets”). My answer is absolutely not. Not only do I think it can help other solar and geothermal contractors dealing with similar issues but if anything it will help me more. Writing down the plan down forces me to focus the idea and ask myself if it makes sense.

In this article I will discuss how I plan on creating the processes and metrics necessary to optimize the marketing, sales, design and installation process of a new company that will sell geothermal, solar pv, solar thermal products. Read below for the full article and if you have any questions or comments on the article please feel free to leave them in the comment section, email me at or ask a question on HeatSpring’s facebook page: Enjoy!


August 22nd, 2011|Categories: Solar|Tags: , , , , , |

Universities Can be a Great Market for Geo and Solar

Recently, I spoke with Nathalie Assens at Project Manager at ZVI Construction. ZVI Construction is a medium size, three-decade old, design-build construction company that does a lot of work with universities around Boston as well as  internationally.   Nathalie enrolled in both HeatSpring’s geothermal and solar training programs because their clients were interested in saving money on energy. Since then, ZVI has completed more geothermal projects, including the first geothermal project at Boston University.

According to Assens, ZVI Construction finds the university market interesting and attractive for energy efficiency upgrades because they own their buildings forever, giving them a long-term view (and appreciation) on how to reduce energy costs.  Over time, those long-term relationships begin to feel more like a partnership.  Rather than merely selling systems, ZVI also performs other construction and maintenance work.

Though Nathalie has already realized a huge potential for geothermal applications, she also sees the opportunity for solar.  She attended HeatSpring’s solar PV boot camp to understand how to integrate solar into their systems and better advise clients. Although it’s not obvious because the technologies are different, she found that there is a huge overlap between clients that “get” geothermal and those who are interested in solar.  The challenge is finding the right person and organization that “gets” that combining solar and geothermal is a no-brainer.


August 16th, 2011|Categories: Solar|Tags: , , , , |

Geothermal Powers the Statue of Liberty, President Bush’s Ranch, and the Greenest Hotel in the World

Solar guys have been good at show-casing their best solar installations to the public and politicians – the geothermal industry needs to step up and begin to showcase our best installations as well. PR and customer awarnress are key; a recent report by Pike Research shows that while there is huge upside for geothermal, its currently only […]

VERY Basic Geothermal Training

Ground Source Heat Pumps, GeoExchange, Ground Coupled Heat Pumps…the list goes on.  The Geothermal Heat Pump industry has had a lot of names over the years.

In this three minute video, HeatSpring Instructor John Manning explains what Geothermal Heat Pumps are, and dispels some common misconceptions.  It’s a nice introduction for those just learning about the […]