ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 25

installation. Systems with thermostat controls had average ratings approaching “satisfied,” but levels decline somewhat with newer installations. GSHPs with building automation system (BAS) controls had average satisfaction ratings below “acceptable” and ratings also decline for newer systems.

Location Tennessee Tennessee Illinois Georgia

Total Buildings 29 8 31 17

GSHP Buildings 12 2 11 10

Years of GSHP Use 16 12 5 6

HVAC Techs 5 1 9 3

Buildings Per HVAC Tech 5.8 8 3.4 5.7

Table 1: Number of buildings per HVAC service technicians in GSHP school districts.
5.0 Maintenance Response Satisfaction 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 1985 T-Stat BAS

Maintenance and Operation Personnel Comments
When Jeff Monahan, maintenance and construction coordinator for McLean County (IL) Unit No. 5, learned that several older schools would be converted to GSHPs, he was sure he would have to hire additional maintenance staff to deal with all the compressors. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We rarely make service calls at the older schools with the geothermal heat pumps.” The survey responses from the McLean County district, which incorporate the one-pipe building loop design, were the most positive of the four received. The advantage listed in the survey was “very low maintenance” while the main disadvantage was “our newer schools with more complex controls have been more problematic.” The primary recommendation was “keep the control systems simple as they perform better.” Energy manager Bruce Boswell realizes that the ENERGY STAR ratings at the three newer schools are lower (91, 75, 75) than the ratings for the five 1950s vintage schools with thermostats (98, 98, 97, 95, 95), but he expects things to improve as he and the operators become more familiar with the controls. Monahan is less optimistic, “…with decreasing school budgets and a reduced supply of experienced technicians, why would you put something complicated in our buildings that uses more energy? The engineers are shoving these controls down our throats.” Figure 3 demonstrates equipment designs that are simple and relatively easy to service because of accessibility. Technicians Carl Foeller and Bill Thomas, who according to Monahan are “…great technicians and very smart,” view the core refrigeration package (compressor, water coil, air coil and pump) of a vertical unit that can be easily removed from the cabinet. If major service is required the package is replaced and the problem unit can be serviced at the maintenance shop. Figure 3 also illustrates the interior arrangement of a vertical classroom unit with ample access room for primary components. Figure 4 shows the complex proprietary controls for a dual capacity water-to-air heat pump that would likely incite Monahan’s ire. Figure 4 also demonstrates the difficulty of servicing units located in ceiling spaces. Keith Simmons, HVAC&R service technician for the Unicoi County (TN) Schools, is satisfied with the ease and frequency of maintenance with 12-year-old GSHP system at the high school. He rates the quality of system design and system installation as “acceptable.” He sees the indoor location of the equipment as an advantage with fewer weather-rated failJanuary 2013

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

Date of GSHP Installation
5 = Very Satisfied 4 = Satisfied 3 = Acceptable 2 = Dissatisfied 1 = Very Dissatisfied

Figure 1: Occupant satisfaction with maintenance response vs. GSHP system age.
5.0 4.5 Controllability Satisfaction 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 1985 T-Stat BAS

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

Date of GSHP Installation
5 = Very Satisfied 4 = Satisfied 3 = Acceptable 2 = Dissatisfied 1 = Very Dissatisfied

Figure 2: Satisfaction with ability to control for thermostat and building automation systems. ures and ease of service during extreme outdoor conditions. The more constant refrigerant pressures/temperatures and the elimination of defrost cycles are important benefits. He also feels GSHPs provide more consistent room comfort. Simmons sees water treatment and corrosion issues as a primary disadvantage. He expressed the common complaint that units are often located in restricted spaces where servicing is
ASHRAE Journal 25



ASHRAE Journal - January 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - January 2013

ASHRAE Journal - January 2013
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
Long-Term Commercial GSHP Performance: Part 6: Maintenance and Controls
Thermally Active Floors, Part 1
Technology Award Case Studies:
Aquathermal Systems
Standing Columns
Data Centers
People
Emerging Technologies
IAQ Applications
Engineer's Notebook
Washington Report
Refrigeration Applications
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - ASHRAE Journal - January 2013
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 14
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Long-Term Commercial GSHP Performance: Part 6: Maintenance and Controls
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Thermally Active Floors, Part 1
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 44
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 46
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Aquathermal Systems
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 54
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Data Centers
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 62
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 63
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - People
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 66
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 67
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - IAQ Applications
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 69
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 70
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Engineer's Notebook
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 75
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Washington Report
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Refrigeration Applications
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - 80
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - January 2013 - Cover4
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