Converting natural gas heating/cooling systems to geothermal uses the same piping infrastructure we already have and keeps the energy source local, noted Jay Egg of Egg Geo Feb. 7 at the 2023 AHR Expo in Atlanta. Geothermal allows the creation of thermal energy networks (TENs) — “tying together buildings thermally.”
“With our aging infrastructure, an upgrade to renewables is necessary,” he said.
The United Association union understands the tremendous opportunity TENs have for its technician members and developed a TEN curriculum, Egg noted.
Using water-source heat pumps in these systems allows the electrical load to level out as consumption is the same during winter or summer. Also, TENs eliminate outdoor equipment, so they are more weather-resilient.
Many projects across the country are using these thermal networks to conserve energy and, with the reduction of fossil fuels for heating and cooling, nearly eliminate greenhouse gases to keep their communities' air and water clean and safe.
The future will see this technology continue to evolve.