About this course

This six-module 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.

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Course outline

6 modules • 46 assignments • 3:18 hours of video lectures

Welcome • 2 assignments
Orientation Materials

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.

  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
Module 1 • 7 assignments
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).

  • Read: "Geothermal What's in a Name?"
  • "How Geothermal Heat Pumps Work" (.pdf)
  • Read: "The Ground Connection" (.pdf)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (.pdf)
  • Intro to GSHP Systems - Part 1 (12:07 minutes) Preview
  • Intro to GSHP Systems - Part 2 (25:05 minutes)
  • OPTIONAL READING 'Geothermal Survival Kit' (.pdf)
Module 2 • 5 assignments
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.

  • Read "Let Geo LEED the Way"
  • Economics & Marketing - Part 1 (12:31 minutes)
  • Economics & Marketing - Part 2 (11:40 minutes)
  • Economics & Marketing - LoopLink Example (11:14 minutes)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (.pdf)
Module 3 • 5 assignments
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 "What is IGSPHA"
  • Read "What is the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO)"
  • Read "The Case for Expanding Beneficial Electrification with Ground Source Heat Pumps" (.pdf)
  • Reference - Energy Star Lising of Geothermal Heat Pump Manufacturers
  • Resource: Search for IGSHPA members in your area
Module 4 • 7 assignments
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" (.pdf)
  • Overview of GSHP Performance (23:20 minutes)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (.pdf)
  • GSHP Selection - LoopLink Example (10:53 minutes)
  • Closed-Loop GHEX Design Basics (11:54 minutes) Preview
  • Closed-Loop GHEX Design - LoopLink Example (18:49 minutes)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (.pdf)
Module 5 • 7 assignments
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"
  • Read GeoPro's "Commissioning & Quality Assurance Guide"
  • Grouting Overview - Part 1 (15:15 minutes)
  • Grouting Overview - Part 2 (12:01 minutes)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (.pdf)
  • Assignment Calculate the amount of grout (TG Lite and sand in 50# bags) required for this project. (.pdf)
  • Resource for Assignment Use GeoPro's online volume calculator. Email me with the results.
Module 6 • 9 assignments
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" (.pdf)
  • Read "Geothermal Do's and Don'ts"
  • Important GSHP Design & Installation Considerations (33:21 minutes)
  • Presentation slides (PDF) (.pdf)
  • Assignment Calculate the amount of propylene glycol for a 20% concentration in this ground loop. (.pdf)
  • Antifreeze Volume Calculator (.xlsm)
  • LoopLink Assignment – Part 1
  • LoopLink Assignment Part – 2 (.pdf)
  • Entry Level Professional Exam
Conclusion • 4 assignments
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate

Continuing Education Units

Approved for the following CEUs

  • 20 Professional Development Contact Hours


  • Ryan Carda

    Principal Engineer, Dandelion Energy
    View profile

    Ryan Carda is Principal Engineer for Dandelion. He is primarily responsible for design and engineering standardization, with a focus on optimizing the performance and lowering the cost of geothermal systems. Prior to that, Ryan co-founded Geo-Connections in 2004 and served as the company’s President until he sold the company to Dandelion. The products Ryan developed... Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 6 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.
How long do I have access to the materials?
Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes, 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 LinkedIn integration.
Can I register multiple people?
Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.


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