Geothermal Standing Column Well Design - Self Study


Length: 3 modules

Author: Albert Koenig, Ph.D.

Subjects: Renewable HVAC: Geothermal


What makes the Standing Column Well (SCW) different and compelling as a geothermal HVAC solution? Students in this course will investigate a number of SCW design applications, and review the key thermal and hydro-geological bases for good performance.

This course will be delivered in two parts: Lecture during module 1 will provide the background and tools students need to complete an entire design exercise on their own for homework. Module 2 will address all questions from module 1, plus all of the tough but important details that determine the success of standing column well systems in the real world. This is a self-paced course - students are not expected to be 'logged in' at any specific time.

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Get REAL DATA about how Standing Column Well systems are designed and how they really perform

Use that data to design your own standing column well system using HeatSpring's design workbook You get access to a Standing Column Well simulator and model performance of the system you design

Learn from the best

Dr. Al Koenig, former 'Engineer of the Year' at General Electric.

Self-Paced Online Course

This is a self-study, self-paced online course. You can begin instantly upon enrollment and complete the course materials on your own pace.

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: 7 AIA LU Credits


Al koenig.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Albert Koenig, Ph.D.

Founder, ARB GeoWell, LLC

Albert Koenig is a Ph.D. in physics with 35 years of engineering work experience in renewable energy development. He has worked for General Electric Co., Advanced Energy Programs, Chloride Silent Power (UK), Ben Franklin Technology Partners (PA) and American Refining & Biochemical, and along the way started two companies: Silent Power Systems (battery energy...[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
  • Meet your instructor, Dr. Al Koenig (Video) preview
  • Join the Alumni Network: Add education to your LinkedIn profile in one click (Resource)
  • Resource: Presentation Handouts for 'Standing Column Wells' Training (Download .pdf)
Module 1 - Fundamentals of Standing Column Well Geothermal Systems

TOPICS COVERED: A look at what's unique to these systems as opposed to the more common closed loop approach. What's happening in the well as water is circulated between the building and the ground. A progression from cylindrical steady-state heat transfer to transient quasi-steady state implementation. Measurement of thermal conductivity, diffusivity and relaxation characteristics of the well. A look at a SCW installation: drilling techniques, HVAC Hardware, and controls.

  • Lesson 1: Why Open Loop Geothermal Systems? (Video)
  • Lesson 2: Understanding Well Bore Dynamics (Video) preview
  • Lesson 3: Well Bore Heat Transfer Made Easy (Video)
  • Lesson 4: Important Thermal & Geo-Physics Measurements for Well Field Design (Video)
  • Lesson 5: SCW Installation Example (Video)
  • READING: 'How Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps Work' (Download .pdf)
Module 2 - Design Your Own Standing Column Well System

Students will use lessons from the first half of the course to complete a standing column well design exercise for homework.

  • HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: Complete this SCW Design Problem (Download .pdf)
  • VIDEO SOLUTION: Watch Dr. Koenig solve the homework question using the ARB Geowell Simulator (Video)
  • HOMEWORK SOLUTION: Download a PDF of the homework solution (Download .pdf)
Module 3 - Advanced Standing Column Well Design Training

TOPICS COVERED: Unlike closed loops, open loop systems require extension into the mechanical room for heat exchange...towards a turnkey system. HVAC system performance hinges on EWT to the heat pumps and parasitic power used to transport heat. Addressing the time dependent elements of load, SCW temperature, heat pump operation and parasitic power over extended periods. What's the payback on the net capital outlay? We'll conclude by considering potential regulatory issues.

  • Lesson 6: The Geothermal Interface to the Building (Video)
  • Lesson 7: The building loop and a review of heat pump characteristics (Video)
  • Lesson 8: A Look at Geothermal HVAC Seasonal Simulation (Video)
  • Lesson 9: The Economics of SCW Geothermal Installations (Video)
  • Lesson 10: Challenges to SCW Implementation (Video)
  • Supplemental Materials: Some final tips from Al (Video)
  • RESOURCE: Drinking Water Interpretation Tool (Resource)
  • RESOURCE: SCW design support & project consultation - ARB Geowell Website (Resource)
  • RESOURCE: Water Energy information on SCW design (.pdf) (Resource)
  • RESOURCE: Harvard Lessons Learned (.pdf) (Download .pdf)
  • RESOURCE: NYC Geothermal Heat Pump Manual (.pdf) (Resource)
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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