Entry Level Geothermal Professional Certificate Training


Length: 5 weeks

Instructor: Ryan Carda, P.E.

Partner: High Performance Building Institute

Subjects: Geothermal Heat Pumps


This six-week interactive course uses reading assignments, video instruction, discussion, homework, quizzes, and a capstone 1-on-1 phone call with 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 two years. Passing the course earns you an Entry Level Geothermal Professional Certificate. This is the most comprehensive geothermal training ever offered online - a rapid-development tool for professionals pursuing opportunities in the geothermal industry.
Complete Flexibility

The workload for this course depends on your level of interest. Most students spend between 2-10 hours per week. The work is flexible, so you can catch up when you have the time.

Personalized Attention

Students can ask as many questions as they like on the course discussion board and get specific answers tailored to their situation.

Self-Paced Online Course

This course is self-paced and entirely online. The lecture videos and other materials are available any time, and the instructor responds to student questions through a discussion board. In order to participate, you will need an Internet connection and an up-to-date web browser.

Ayuda En Español

Este curso está en inglés. Pero si entiendes el inglés bastante bien y solamente necesitas un poco de ayuda, podemos ayudarte por correo electrónico (o por teléfono si puedes llamar a los Estado Unidos) con traducción básica, comprensión, u otras cosas. Si tienes más preguntas sobre este servicio, manda un mensaje a info@heatspring.com.

Your Instructor


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 course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. Expect to dedicate an average of 5 hours per week, but you can work ahead or catch up if you fall behind. Keep in mind that the instructor will be there to answer your questions and help you learn for the duration of the course. The instructor will only be available to answer questions during the posted session dates, so ask all your questions while we're in session. You will have access to all of the online materials for a full year. Contact Tom McCormack, your Student Advocate, if you have questions before or after the posted session dates. Please review the orientation materials and introduce yourself on the discussion board.

WEEK 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).

WEEK 2 - Understanding Geothermal Heat Pump Mechanics

"How can you use an earth temperature of 50 degrees to heat my house to 70 degrees?" This section will help you answer that fundamental question many of your customers and colleagues want to know. Understanding the heat pump itself is critical for communicating why geothermal systems are comfortable and reliable - not magic.

WEEK 3 - Ground Coupling Options: Closed Loop, Open Loop, and Standing Column

The ground coupling is what makes a geothermal system so efficient - it also adds cost and complexity vs. a traditional HVAC job. Making informed decisions about your ground coupling options can have huge cost and performance implications for both residential and commercial projects. This section helps you understand the pros and cons of each.

WEEK 4 - Big Picture Trends: Get to Know How the GHP 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 GHP's position in the building industry, and get to know the equipment manufacturers, government agencies, and industry associations that drive the market.

WEEK 5 - Designing a Geothermal Heat Pump System

Proper system design is critical for keeping the initial investment low, and for making sure the system operates as advertised. You don't need to rely on rules of thumb; there are some relatively simple calculations that geothermal designers make to design reliable systems for residential and commercial buildings.

WEEK 6 - Marketing & Selling Geothermal Systems

Everyone has a sales component to their job, even if you think you don't. Whether you're marketing or selling GHPs to customers, evaluating someone else's design, or a prospective owner/operator, you need to understand how people think about GHPs and how purchase decisions are made.

Assignment - LoopLink Exercise

In this module, you will use the free demo version of the LoopLink software to complete an exercise that explores the economics of geothermal heat pumps.

Take Your Exam

This week you will take the final exam for the course.

AFTER THE COURSE - Industry Contacts, Resources, and Tools for Continued Success

After you've passed the exam, expect your packet will arrive in the mail in about a month. No matter how much you've learned over the past six weeks, you're going to encounter new issues and have more questions from the field. These resources and industry contacts can be your lifeline as you experiment with new initiatives and service lines. The HeatSpring community is a rich and diverse group that is here to provide support.

Students who took this course also took

Free Course: 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.

Download a free tool 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