The Making of a Geo-Exchange Standard

03 May 2021 11:04 PM | Anonymous

Often, we do not understand the true value of standards, and how strategic they are. This summation below, explains how the Geo-Exchange Standard developed so that more projects could be undertaken with confidence in the design and installation.

In the late 80’s in Europe and North America was in its 15th year since the commercialization of Geo-Exchange (low enthalpy geothermal). Thanks to many passionate devout believers such as Professors (Bowes, Kavanough etc.), universities, manufacturers, contractors and IGHSPA, who tried not to let the installation quality deteriorate and become the Wild West.

Canada had a history going back to 1948 with Prof Frank Hooper (University of Toronto) who did a study for Toronto Power Commission. In the mid 80’s, a 120-home pilot project in Toronto showed that different soils / different grout, can fail in 15% of the cases around the province. Ontario Hydro discovered and concluded that “ice Lensing” was occurring. Direct expansion was used in many cases, some successful and some not. Some Heat pump manufactures went out of business as a result. Carl Orio, invented/developed, properly engineered standing column wells, others imitated and failed. Training from Manufactures, IGSPA, and Universities were the providing parties of guidelines for the industry so that properly sized and installed systems would minimize failure, and thus, grow the industry. Electrical utilities saw the benefits to promote geothermal for many reasons, including load levelling, and were willing to offer incentives such as grants. The group wanted the system to provide 90% of the yearly energy from the ground (minimize auxiliary) and help this “grass roots” technology that was not a utility, to have consistent quality, longevity of life, minimal maintenance, save energy, and reduce GHGs.

Ontario Hydro represented by Frank Lenarduzzi and Dave Young, suggested a (Canadian Standard/Guideline) along with many on the original stakeholders in many cases competitors, joined to help produce a better product for the market. Attached are the original CSA board members and Commercial board members. Two of these members Gino Di Rezze, and Robert Mancini are and still have been continually on the board for these 30 years. Some are still in the industry and as passionate as ever of the business they helped to develop. There are other names but too many to mention.

The original CSA Standard, with the help of many good people, has evolved to Include the giant USA market via a Bi-National, and IGHSPA addition. At this point as the original members, we thought we would give you a snippet of real history of the “little standard that grew” and pay homage to the original visionaries that invested their time with passion in a product that they hope is a solution to Climate Change. These Committee members have believed in this for decades.

Gino Di Rezze P.Eng. Robert Mancini P.Eng.

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