smaller geothermal (ground source heat pump) systems that are designed for domestic w
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    15

    smaller geothermal (ground source heat pump) systems that are designed for domestic w

    Hello everyone…I am a first timer here on the forum and I am seriously considering building a home on a lot that I have owned for years now… I have decided that if I am going to do so, I wish to pick a builder, plan and internal systems that are efficient, within a reasonable budget…

    I have decided (with the prospected builder) that I don’t wish to go with a 3 ton geothermal heat pump system. But the water heating byproduct keeps making me reconsider…

    My question is this…I assume that (and please correct me if I am wrong) if I go with a conventional air source heat pump system, I can have a desuperheater fitted (depending on the particular model), but are there currently smaller geothermal (ground source heat pump) systems that are designed for domestic water heating alone.

    The builder has alluded that to his knowledge they don’t exist, but is that the case? And if they do exist…then can anyone point me in the right direction, especially if they have personal or professional experience with a particular model or manufacturer.

    And I suppose if they do exist, this builder should no longer be a serious prospect…

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,829
    To heat water for any use takes a lot of Btu's. What you're looking for exists but I personallly don't know of one designed specifically just for DHW. Any water-to-water unit could heat water for domestic use and you're correct, the desuperheaters of a water-to-air system would assist with water DHW production as well. But would it be okay to take a few minutes and look at the entire project?

    1. You want to heat the home.
    2. You want to cool the home.
    3. You want to product DHW.
    4. You want electricty to run all of this as well as the other home needs.

    Solutions:
    1. Geo-thermal water-to-air with desuperheaters for both heat & cool needs as well as some DHW production.
    2. Air-to-water Heat Pump water heaters to complete the DHW needs.
    3. Solar PV system to power it all.

    End result:
    1. Heating operational costs = $0
    2. Cooling operation costs = $0
    3. DHW production costs = $0
    4. House electrical needs =$0.

    Benefits: 30% no cap Federal Tax Credit on all but the DHW HPs to mitigate installation costs. You're basically 'off grid' with near zero energy costs. You can also check with your state regarding grants and/or other monetary incentives at the more local level to do many of the items on the list.

    Keep in mind, what you select for cabinets, bathroom fixtures, light fixtures, flooring and siding are all easily changed at any time. What you put in for heating & cooling are not something that's easily changed once the home is built. Once it's built with fossil fuel and straight cooling, that's it. You'll still be a slave of the fossil fuel monarchy. If I were building anew, I'd do exactly what I have suggested to you.

    Finally, a really high quality, properly designed and installed dual fuel/Hybrid Heating system will give huge comfort and reduced energy costs. However the cost of that installation will be about 15% to 20% less than the equivalent cost of a multi-stage geo-system, less the earth coupling. The 30% Tax Credit will likely reduce the earth coupling costs to near zero. So unless you're putting in an inferior fossil fuel system, I don't see why you wouldn't at least put in the geo system and if money and exposure allow, do the PV system now or later.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

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