Geothermal Engineering and Design

KCI’s geothermal engineering services provide our clients with cost effective and sustainable energy alternatives compared to existing designs. Our certified geothermal designers have gained knowledge that expands beyond the engineering realm and into the sustainable design industry. The firm’s experience includes design, installation oversight and commissioning for a wide range of geothermal heat exchangers including open loop (water well, pond, lake and river), vertical and horizontal closed loops, pond/lake/river closed loops, hybrid loops for load balancing and standing column heat exchangers. Services include:

  • Load profile calculations
  • Thermal conductivity testing and analysis
  • Loopfield sizing and site layout
  • Soil and ground water presence evaluation
  • Heat Flow Balancing calculations (use of heat)
  • Energy Savings Calculations between alternative designs

A commonly used example of geothermal design in facilities is the installation and operation of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs)—a central heating/cooling system that transfers heat to or from the ground which can be part of a new construction or retrofitted into an existing building. GHPs yield increased levels of occupant comfort while simultaneously lowering operating and maintenance costs when it comes to heating and cooling a building. Through our own experience and industry documentation, geothermal systems have been shown to reduce energy consumption of HVAC systems by up to 50 percent. Other uses have included domestic hot water heating, which may also increase the efficiency of the cooling cycle; refrigeration where savings can approach 70 percent over air cooled equipment; pool heating; snow melting; de-icing for sidewalks, roads and bridges; assistance with ground water decontamination; and concentrated solar panel cooling.

The firm’s lead engineer has contributed content to software for snow melting and radiant heating applications; authored the “Geothermal Heat Pump” chapter for the Encyclopedia of Energy Engineering and Technology; and patented the process of recovering heat from a geothermal heat exchanger and converting it into electrical energy.