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Geothermal Demand?

Hey guys, I just curious if a lot of your customers are asking about geothermal systems. if they don't end up buying them, why?


  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    It seems to vary by income.

    We have 5 geo projects on the board now.  We are just finishing another and completed our first last fall.

    We have priced a few more that didn't go through.  The systems are pricey to say the least.  I don't know about payback.  I usually design my own heating systems, however we have gone to a PE on all of our geo systems.  Too many moving parts.

    Our largest is 21 water to air units and 3 water to water units in one structure.  The normal is two water to air and maybe one water to water unit.

    Good Luck.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    BIG Buck$...

    Most of the customers I had that did GSHP could afford to burn money for heat. Joe and Jane Sixpack can't afford this stuff, even with government intervention, er I meant rebates.

    Until which time someone comes out with a water to water variable speed, soft start compressor, I've removed myself from the GSHP business. Too many "issues".

    Conceptually, it makes a LOT of sense. But it is VERY dependent upon the field installation, and soil conditions, and soil moisture, and .....

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Chris_Williams
    Chris_Williams Member Posts: 8

    It sounds like the two issues are 1) technical issues and 2) price.

    Regarding price, what has really helped the solar pv industry has been financing. I wonder if we could apply the same thing to geothermal? Thoughts

    Most geothermal systems that I've seen have a very high rate of return (at least 12%) which is much higher then the interest rate on a loan (~5% these days). This seems like a simple math to me and is free money.
  • NRT_Rob
    NRT_Rob Member Posts: 1,013

    12% annual return on a $30k to $40k investment?

    Most homes don't even use that much energy in a year. I can only assume you are looking at open loop systems which are much cheaper?
    Rob Brown
    Designer for Rockport Mechanical
    in beautiful Rockport Maine.
  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    geo demand

    Interest/inquiries for geo & solar thermal has dropped off significantly for us since about the middle of last year, we have had 3 geo inquiries & 1 solar so far this year. Of those 1 geo is in the bag, 1 gone & one fence sitter. The 1 solar sounds pretty solid though. Pretty bad considering these sectors usually make up 80% of our work. The pursestrings get pretty tight when there's a recession underway.
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