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DoE: US$50m for geothermal heat pumps

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced nearly US$50 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to advance commercial deployment of the renewable heating and cooling systems, geothermal heat pumps.

According to the US Department of Energy (DoE), geothermal heat pumps, also called ground-source heat pumps, can be more efficient than the air-source heat pumps more commonly found in commercial and residential applications today.

DoE has announced opportunities for geothermal heat pump projects in three areas:

Innovative Technology Demonstrations: Cost-shared technology geothermal demonstration projects that retrofit/incorporate a minimum of 50 tons of heating and cooling capacity and can be deployed in various geological conditions and climate zones in either residential communities or commercial buildings. Selected geothermal projects will incorporate innovative business and financing strategies, and focus on technological improves to speed marketplace deployment.

Life Cycle Cost Tools: Projects that will assist in determining project feasibility by gathering and analysing data related to geothermal system costs, performance, and installation techniques which will help decrease life-cycle cost applications for geothermal heat pumps.

National Certification and Accreditation: A national certification and accreditation programme for the geothermal heat pump industry designed to increase consumer confidence in the technology, reduce the potential for improperly installed systems, and assure product quality and performance.

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