Geothermal Designer Boot Camp + LoopLink RLC Certification


Length: 6 modules

Instructor: Ryan Carda, P.E.

Subjects: Renewable HVAC: Geothermal, Renewable HVAC: HVAC Design, Renewable HVAC: IGSHPA Certification


The course will use IGSHPA's "Residential and Light Commercial Design and Installation Manual", and is taught by the author. LoopLink RLC, an online geothermal design tool, will be used heavily in the class and the course comes with a 1-year license for the software. LoopLink RLC Certification is earned by successfully completing the final design problem and is valid for three years. Each week students will have a reading lesson, a homework assignment (usually a design that you have to do on your own), and discussion with the instructor and other students.

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World-Class Instructor

Ryan Carda is a true guru when it comes to geothermal system design. He's a co-author of the "IGSHPA Residential and Light Commercial Design and Installation Manual," and he has been teaching this course for years. He is highly respected in the industry and always gets rave reviews from students.

Powerful Software

The course includes a 1-year, unlimited subscription to LoopLink RLC design software (a $395 value).

Applied Learning

Gain experience and build confidence through hands-on work. Students take their own designs from start to finish.

Complete Flexibility

This course was designed for busy professionals. Complete the work when you have time. You don't need to worry about being late for a classroom session or deadlines for assignments.

Professional Development Hours for Engineers

This course is approved for 20 professional development hours for students who need to renew their P.E. license.

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.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Self Report with Certificate: 20 AIA LU Credits

This course is a 10 out of 10.

- John Blatner - CEO, Capital Heat, Inc.


Ryan carda.gif?ixlib=rb 1.1

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]

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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
  • Introduction to Geothermal Designer Boot Camp (5:09 minutes) (Video) preview
  • Download Slides From Video Lessons (Download .pdf)
  • Order: IGSHPA's 'Residential & Light Commercial Design & Installation Manual (Resource)
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • LoopLink Introduction (Video)
  • Register for a trial version of LoopLink software. This is what we'll be using for all design problems. On the first day of the course your LoopLink account will be unlocked, giving you a full, unlimited subscription for 1 year ($395 value) (Resource)
  • Join the Alumni Network: Add education to your LinkedIn profile in one click (Resource)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
  • Reviewing Fundamental GSHP Concepts (11:31 minutes) (Video) preview
  • Review of Heat Pumps (18:05 minutes) (Video) preview
  • Ground Connection Methods (21:00 minutes) (Video) preview
  • Take your Skills Assessment Quiz 1 (Quiz)
  • Optional Reading: 'How Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps Work' (Download .pdf)
  • Optional Reading from the IGSHPA Manual (Text)
Module 1 - Building Loads, GHP Hot Water Generation Options, Energy Modeling

Working with accurate loads is critical to a solid, cost-effective geothermal design. 'Garbage in, garbage out' is something we've all heard plenty of times - these assignments take the garbage out of your project. It's important to note that this isn't an exhaustive course for calculating building loads (that's a full course on it's own), but we will cover the basics.

  • Learning Objectives for Week 1 (Download .pdf)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • OPTIONAL - Download Powerpoint Slides from Week 1 (Download .pdf)
  • Building Loads, Hot Water Generation Options, Energy Modeling (11:32 minutes) (Video)
  • Domestic Hot Water Generating Options (19:28 minutes) (Video)
  • Energy Loads and Heat Pump Performance (11:51 minutes) (Video)
  • Take your Week 1 Quiz over GSHP Basics (Quiz)
Module 2 - Understanding Equipment Performance & Equipment Selection Strategies

Selecting the proper equipment is critical to designing cost-effective geothermal systems that work and are easy to maintain.

  • Learning Objectives for Week 2 (Download .pdf)
  • Optional Office Hours (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • OPTIONAL - Download Powerpoint Slides from Videos (Part 1) (Download .pdf)
  • OPTIONAL - Download Powerpoint Slides from Videos (Part 2) (Download .pdf)
  • Heat Pump Selection (12:39 minutes) (Video)
  • GSHP Heating Performance (19:13 minutes) (Video)
  • Performance Data for Single Capacity GSHP (29:37 minutes) (Video)
  • Performance Data for Dual Capacity GSHP (9:56 minutes) (Video)
  • Water-Water GSHP Sizing (11:12 minutes) (Video)
  • HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: GSHP Selection (Download .pdf)
  • Email your homework to Ryan (Text)
Module 3 - Ground Heat Exchanger (GHEX) Design Basics

This week we lay the foundation for designing closed loop ground heat exchangers.

  • Learning Objectives for Week 3 (Download .pdf)
  • Optional Office Hours (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • OPTIONAL: Download Week 3 Powerpoint Slides (Download .pdf)
  • GHEX Design Basics (16:47 minutes) (Video)
  • General GHEX Design Procedure (21:45 minutes) (Video)
  • Vertically-Bored GHEX Design (13:39 minutes) (Video)
  • Horizontally-Trenched GHEX Design (11:13 minutes) (Video)
  • HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: GHEX Design (Download .pdf)
  • Email your homework to Ryan (Text)
Module 4 - Head Loss Calculations & Interior Piping Design

Now we're getting into real design problems.

  • Learning Objectives for Week 4 (Download .pdf)
  • Optional Office Hours (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • Optional Reading (Text)
  • OPTIONAL Download Week 4 Powerpoint Slides (Download .pdf)
  • Interior Piping & Pumping Design (22:56 minutes) (Video)
  • Head Loss / Pressure Drop (16:42 minutes) (Video)
  • Head Loss Calculation Example (18:48) (Video)
  • Design Tool - Head Loss Calculation Worksheet 1 (Download .pdf)
  • Design Tool - Head Loss Calculation Worksheet 2 (Download .pdf)
  • HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: Perform Head Loss Calculations (Download .pdf)
  • Email your homework to Ryan (Text)
Module 5 - Interior Load Distribution + Beginning the Final Design Problem

During this week you will begin work on the final design problem. This final design is split into two parts - the video lessons will give you the remaining tools you need to complete this design on your own. This is the last step toward LoopLink certification.

  • Optional Office Hours (Text)
  • OPTIONAL - Download Week 5 Powerpoint Slides (Download .pdf)
  • Interior Load Distribution (17:12 minutes) (Video)
  • Water-to-Water Hydronic Applications (13:55 minutes) (Video)
  • Supplemental Heat Options (12:10 minutes) (Video)
  • Final Exam Part 1 (9:05 minutes) (Video) preview
  • Final Assignment - Multizone GSHP Selection & GHEX Design (Download .pdf)
  • Final Assignment - Floor Plan (Download .pdf)
  • Final Assignment - Equipment Schedule (Blank spreadsheet for you to fill out) (Download .xls)
Module 6 - Submit Final Design Problem to Earn LoopLink Certification

Final exams are due one week after the last day of the course. They must be submitted on time and be correct to receive LoopLink Certification. Send Ryan an email when you have completed the design in LoopLink - this is 'official' way to submit the assignment.

  • System Flushing & Purging Pipe Volume (12:24 minutes) (Video)
  • OPTIONAL - Download Week 6 Powerpoint Presentation (Download .pdf)
  • Final Assignment - Final Exam Part 2 (Download .pdf)
  • Final Assignment - Record Your Head Loss Volume Calculations Here (Download .xls)
  • Final Assignment - Interior Piping Schematic (Download .pdf)
  • Final Assignment - Exterior Piping Schematic (Download .pdf)
  • Final Assignment - VFD Pump Curves (Download .pdf)
  • Final Exam Review: Ryan will provide you feedback and let you know what you did well and where you might improve going forward. (Text)
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)
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GP101: Introduction to GeoPro Products

Learn the appropriate uses and mix recipes for each GeoPro product, as well as the many advantages our products have over the alternatives.

GP201: GeoPro Product Handling

This course focuses on proper GeoPro Product handling practices to minimize the potential for issues in the field.

GP401: Technical Grouting Considerations

Enroll in an in-depth discussion on technical grouting considerations, including a detailed discussion about grout thermal conductivity and the effect on system performance.

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Deep Boreholes in GSHP Systems: Pressure Considerations & Installation Practices

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Free Tools Used in this course

Installer's Guide to Geothermal Heat Pump Selection

Author: Ryan Carda, P.E.

How to Measure Geothermal Heat Pump Performance (COP)

Author: Ryan Carda, P.E.