Entry Level Geothermal Professional Certificate Training


Length: 6 modules

Instructor: Ryan Carda, P.E.

Subjects: Renewable HVAC: Geothermal


This six-week interactive course uses reading assignments, video instruction, discussion, homework, quizzes, and support by Ryan Carda, author of the IGSHPA design & installation manual, to give you a solid foundation for success in the geothermal industry. You can tailor the learning to your own needs by submitting questions to the instructor, and have access to the learning materials for a full years. Passing the course earns you an Entry Level Geothermal Professional Certificate. This comprehensive training is a rapid-development tool for professionals pursuing opportunities in the geothermal industry.

Mentorship From An Industry Leader

Ryan Carda has trained thousands of new geothermal installers. He's an excellent source of information and advice on all topics related to geothermal system design and installation.

Self-Paced Online Course

This online course is self-paced. You can begin instantly upon enrollment.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn a Certificate of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our one-click LinkedIn integration.


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Ryan Carda, P.E.

President, Geo-Connections, Inc.

Ryan Carda, P.E. is a Mechanical Engineer at Geo Pro, Inc. and is a co-founder of Geo-Connections, Inc. (creators of LoopLink Geothermal design software). He is a co-author of “Design and Installation of Residential and Light Commercial GSHP Systems", developed in cooperation with the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). He has been involved in...[more]

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This is a self-study on demand course. This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (1 minute) (Video) preview
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
Module 1 - Introduction to Geothermal Systems

Very few people know what geothermal heat pumps are and how they work. This week we lay the groundwork by introducing the most common terms and providing a baseline understanding of the technology. (Assignments should be completed by the end of Week 1).

  • "How Geothermal Heat Pumps Work" (Download .pdf)
  • "The Ground Connection" (Download .pdf)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (Download .pdf)
  • Intro to GSHP Systems - Part 1 (Video)
  • Intro to GSHP Systems - Part 2 (Video)
  • OPTIONAL READING 'Geothermal Survival Kit' (Download .pdf)
  • OPTIONAL - CELEBRATE NATIONAL GEOTHERMAL DAY Visit this website to find ways to participate (Resource)
Module 2 - Geothermal Heat Pump Economics & Marketing

Doing a simple payback analysis is a practical first step to take on any geothermal project. There are some simple first steps that will pay off down the road by setting realistic expectations for your prospective client.

  • "Let Geo LEED the Way" (Resource)
  • Economics & Marketing - Part 1 (Video)
  • Economics & Marketing - Part 2 (Video)
  • Economics & Marketing - LoopLink Example (Video)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (Download .pdf)
Module 3 - Big Picture Trends: Get to Know How the GSHP Industry Works

It's not enough to understand the technical side of geothermal heat pumps. To operate in the real world you need to understand the GSHP's position in the building industry, and get to know the equipment manufacturers, government agencies, and industry associations that drive the market.

  • Read "Finance 101 for Geothermal Professionals" (Resource)
  • Geothermal Tax Incentive Breakdown Part 1 (Video)
  • Geothermal Tax Incentive Breakdown Part 2 (Video)
  • Reference - Energy Star Lising of Geothermal Heat Pump Manufacturers (Resource)
  • Find and read one full discussion thread on the GEO Forum - GeoExchange Forum (Resource)
Module 4 - Basics of System Design - Heat Pump Selection & GHEX Design

Proper heat pump selection and a good ground loop design will set you on the path to success for your GSHP installation. This lesson with provide the basics of how to properly select a heat pump and design a ground heat exchanger.

  • Reading "A Basic Guide to Heat Pump Selection" (Download .pdf)
  • Overview of GSHP Performance (Video)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (Download .pdf)
  • GSHP Selection - LoopLink Example (Video)
  • Closed-Loop GHEX Design Basics (Video)
  • Closed-Loop GHEX Design - LoopLink Example (Video)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (Download .pdf)
Module 5 - Grouting Overview

Grouting is a critical part of vertically- and horizontally-bored GHEX installation. This module covers all necessary aspects of grouting - material courtesy of GeoPro, Inc.

  • Read GeoPro's "Product Handling Guide" (Resource)
  • Read GeoPro's "Commissioning & Quality Assurance Guide" (Resource)
  • Grouting Overview - Part 1 (Video)
  • Grouting Overview - Part 2 (Video)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (Download .pdf)
  • Assignment Calculate the amount of grout (TG Lite and sand in 50# bags) required for this project. (Download .pdf)
  • Resource for Assignment Use GeoPro's online volume calculator. Email me with the results. (Resource)
Module 6 - Overview of the Important Aspects for a GSHP Installation and Final Exam

Not that we have an understanding of basic principles, it is time to bring everything full circle. This module provides an overview of the important things to keep in mind when reviewing the design, installation, and startup of the system. At the end of the module, you'll take your final exam.

  • Read "How to Measure GSHP Efficiency for Forced-Air Units" (Download .pdf)
  • Read "Geothermal Do's and Don'ts" (Resource)
  • Important GSHP Design & Installation Considerations (Video)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (Download .pdf)
  • Assignment Calculate the amount of propylene glycol for a 20% concentration in this ground loop. (Download .pdf)
  • Resource Use our free ground loop antifreeze volume calculator. Email me with the results. (Text)
  • LoopLink Assignment – Part 1 (Resource)
  • LoopLink Assignment Part – 2 (Download .pdf)
  • Entry Level Professional Exam (Quiz)
After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year). Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a Founding Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)

Students who took this course also took

IGSHPA Geothermal Installer Accreditation

Become an IGSHPA Accredited Geothermal Installer. This is a foundational course for all geothermal installers, drillers, and designers.

Making the Case: A Guide to Selling GSHP Systems

Doing a simple payback analysis is a practical first step to take on any geothermal project. There are some simple first steps that will pay off down the road by setting realistic expectations for your prospective client.

GP301: Quality Assurance & Field Commissioning

Learn how to effectively manage the grouting portion of a geothermal project from design to installation.

A Complete Guide to Geothermal Tax Incentives

Learn how to apply for tax credits for your geothermal projects completed back to 2006. This course is geared toward commercial and institutional applications.

Free Tools Used in this course

Geothermal Heat Pump Super Bundle

Author: Chris Williams

Geothermal Survival Kit

Author: Chris Williams

Geothermal Business Plan Road Map

Author: Brian Hayden

Geothermal + Solar Hot Water Design Schematic

Author: Lee Cook

Antifreeze Volume Calculator for Geothermal Loopfields

Author: Ryan Carda, P.E.