In the Loop

November 8, 2011

Thanks for your support of the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, the voice of the geothermal heat pump industry in the Land of Lincoln. And welcome back to the fourth edition of “In the Loop,” the e-letter for GAOI members.

We remind you to update your company’s profile at We hope that GAOI members will add their employees to the e-letter list. To do this, just log on to, then log in to your members only information and add to the list of contacts from your company. Be sure to include at least an email address for each of them so that they will get the e-letter and other GAOI electronic communication. (If you have difficulty updating your GAOI profile and adding your employee emails, please call John at 217-241-7973 or Kristin at 217-241-7924).

Lastly, remember that you can share pictures and information about interesting and noteworthy geo projects, which we will publish in this e-letter with all GAOI members.


Save the date – Second Illinois Geothermal Conference, February 28-29, 2012

The Peoria Civic Center will be home to the second annual Illinois Geothermal Conference on February 28-29, 2012. The best and brightest in the geothermal heat pump industry will be in Peoria in late February for the conference. Save the date now.

Complete conference registration, sponsorship and exhibition information will be available electronically on December 1. Until then, for more information contact GAOI Executive Director John Freitag at, or 217-241-7973 (office) or 217-971-3533 (mobile).

Enertech announces Swedish investor, NIBE Industrier AB

NIBE Industrier AB has acquired a 10% share in Enertech Global, LLC. NIBE, which was established in 1952, has more than 8,000 employees, and conducts business in Europe, North America and Asia. Operations are organized around three business areas – NIBE Element, NIBE Energy Systems and NIBE Stoves. As one of the largest geothermal heat pump manufacturers in the world, NIBE has an interest in expanding into the North American market through its involvement with Enertech.

 “NIBE has a management team that we feel very comfortable with. We look forward to drawing upon NIBE’s experience in the industry, and finding synergies between the two companies,” said Steve Smith, President and CEO of Enertech Global. “Nothing will change for our customers or employees; we’ll simply have more expertise and experience to draw upon,” added Smith.

NIBE Industrier AB is a publically traded company on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (Mid Cap NASDAQ OMX Stockholm), and reported 6.5 Billion SEK (approximately US$1.03 Billion) in revenue for fiscal year 2010. Enertech Global will continue to operate from its corporate headquarters in Greenville, IL and manufacturing facility in Mitchell, SD.

 “Our partnership with NIBE will allow Enertech to grow at a much faster rate than otherwise possible. The added financial strength, coupled with Enertech’s innovative product design, puts Enertech in a unique position in the North American marketplace,” commented Enertech’s President and CEO, Steve Smith.

NIBE has the option in later years to acquire the remaining shares in Enertech Global as part of the agreement.

(GAOI incorporating member Enertech produces geothermal heating and cooling products for both residential and commercial applications throughout North America. The company’s product lines consist of GeoComfort, Hydron Module and TETCO brands. Enertech’s corporate headquarters are located in Greenville, with production facilities in Mitchell, S.D. To learn more about Enertech, visit,, or


Four GAOI members named to IDPH Closed Loop Certification Board

Six geothermal professionals, including four members of the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois (three of them GAOI board members) have been appointed to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Closed Loop Well Contractors Certification Board. The group includes:

*Dominique Durbin of Durbin Geothermal, Farina, and vice president of the GAOI board of directors;

*Lonny Hoover of Illinois Geothermal Engineering, Urbana, and past president of the GAOI board and current director:

*Ryan Kerry of Great Lakes Geothermal, Elburn, and curret GAOI director:

*Jim Layten of  Kickapoo Drilling, Downs, and GAOI member;

*Harold Albrecht of Ohio, IL, and George Gaffke of Mundelein.

The appointments were made by the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The board will serve until October 31, 2013. The six-member group will represent the geothermal loop installation industry of Illinois and the state as advisors to IDPH. The board was created by state law earlier this year and will advise/assist IDPH in establishing the testing/credentialing of geothermal verticle loop installers.

IGSHPA Installer Certification Course Nov. 15-17 in Cincinnati

Geo-Tec Co. will lead the IGSHPA Accredited Installer course November 15-17 in Cincinnati. The course is available to anyone in the geothermal heat pump industry. The course will conclude with the certification exam on Thursday, November 17. The workshop will be held at 2-J Supply Co., Cincinnati. The course fee is $975 per person and includes all instructional materials including manuals, fusion training with socket and butt fusion equipment, a three-year membership in IGSHPA, testing and certification by NATE/IGSHPA, refreshments and lunch each day.

For information or to register, contact Don Schuster, Dubuque, Iowa 52003, or call him at 563-582-9235, or go to or email

The ‘V’ in HVAC: design and control of ventilation systems

Ventilation is critical for making a building safe and comfortable. ComEd, Nicor Gas and The Energy Center University will present a one-day course in building ventilation, December 15 at ComEd’s Commercial Center in Oak Brook. This full-day seminar will begin with a discussion of ventilation fundamentals, the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62.1, and an overview of the various types of ventilation systems. Then we will dig deeper into energy-saving ventilation strategies, such as demand-controlled ventilation and exhaust-air energy recovery. Finally, we will discuss the design and control of dedicated outdoor-air systems.

As a result of this training you will be able to:

  • Provide occupant/tenant satisfaction
  • Explain the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62.1 that impact the design and control of ventilation systems.
  • Describe how ASHRAE 62.1 relates to meeting LEED prerequisites and earning credit points.
  • Specify demand-controlled ventilation strategies for single-zone systems, dedicated outdoor-air systems, and multiple-zone VAV systems.
  • Properly apply exhaust-air energy recovery in building ventilation systems.
  • Design and control dedicated outdoor-air systems that balance indoor air quality and energy efficiency.

Who should attend?
Architects, engineers, HVAC system designers working for mechanical engineering consulting firms or design/build contractors, energy efficiency specialists, commissioning authorities, control system technicians, HVAC equipment manufacturer’s representatives, and advanced facility engineers.

Cost for attending this training is $169. For information contact Lonna Kruse at 808-238-8276, extension 157, or email


Growing Use of Geothermal Heat Pumps Will Enable Electricity Load-Balancing and Energy Management

Because the Earth maintains a constant temperature just 10 feet below the surface, systems that use shallow heat to control building temperatures above ground represent an easily accessible resource that can be deployed almost anywhere in the world. While the use of geothermal heat pumps and other forms of direct-use geothermal applications still make up a minuscule percentage of the overall heating and cooling market, growing electricity demand, rising energy prices, and increasing regulation around carbon emissions and energy efficiency will push demand higher over the next several years. Used on their own, geothermal heat pumps are capable of producing large reductions in energy use and peak demand in buildings. Used in conjunction with clean energy generation and whole-building efficiency — as in the recently announced partnership between Tendril and WaterFurnace International to offer a holistic solution combining home energy management with renewable energy — geothermal heat pumps can provide substantially increased benefits.

According to a recent report from Pike Research, geothermal heat pump sales will experience strong growth rates in the next several years, with annual unit shipments in the United States increasing from just fewer than 150,000 in 2011 to more than 326,000 units by 2017. The use of geothermal heat pumps integrated with energy management systems, such as programmable thermostats and utility demand response programs, will give homeowners and companies powerful new capabilities for adapting electricity loads in response to peak heating and cooling periods and for reducing energy costs.

“Direct-use geothermal applications, including geothermal heat pumps, face unique obstacles — primarily high installation costs,” says senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “But increased retrofit activity, a rebound in construction, and growing interest in the commercial and institutional sectors will drive strong growth through 2017 for geothermal heat pumps.”

Led by the United States, China, and Sweden, 78 countries utilized geothermal for direct use applications in 2010. Geothermal heat pumps account for more than half of the direct use of geothermal worldwide, followed by bathing and swimming. Other applications include space heating, greenhouses, industrial processes, snow melting, and open ground heating. While cost and lack of consumer awareness remain primary obstacles to increased adoption, tax incentives and policies supporting building efficiency improvements will help overcome those barriers. Pike Research anticipates dramatic growth in the 2011-2017 timeframe, with the total worldwide capacity for geothermal direct use applications increasing by 179% during that period.

Pike Research’s report, “Geothermal Heat Pumps and Direct Use”, analyzes the global market opportunity for direct utilization of geothermal energy with a primary focus on heat pumps. The study includes a comprehensive examination of direct use markets, demand drivers, existing and emerging technologies, the public policy and regulatory environment, and key industry players. Market forecasts, segmented by geography, extend through 2017 and include examinations of market dynamics in all regions worldwide. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

The information in this e-letter is also available “In the Blog” on the GAOI web site.

For additional information, contact John Freitag, GAOI Executive Director, at 217-241-7973 or 217-971-3533, or email to