Geothermal technologies are showcased at green-homes development near Hampshire
By Jeanie Mayer For The Courier-News September 19, 2012 8:44PM
Michael Hammond of Climate Master instructs HVAC professionals on the use of a geothermal heat pump Wednesday at Serosun Farms near Hampshire. 9/19/12. | Jeanie Mayer~For The Courier-News
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:39PM
On a blustery Wednesday, the owners of Serosun Farms south of Hampshire hosted a geothermal technology summit to educate more than 150 HVAC professionals on this emerging technology and to show how it can work for individual homes in an environmentally green community like Serosun.
The public is invited to a repeat of the event Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
Working with developer John DeWald, property owner Jane Stickland was on-site sharing information about the 410-acre development that will one day be home to 114 green-built residences. She said the geothermal element not only cuts energy costs for heating and cooling homes, it also provides better air quality, and its upfront costs can be recouped with a few short years.
“Geothermal works with heat exchange,” Stickland said. “The heat gets into the home via radiant floor units or can be transferred to air ducts. The quality of the air in the home is way cleaner when you use geothermal.”
The event showcased three geothermal methods, with a display site at each. The first used the site’s pond and showed how geothermal tubing can be looped through the water and then into a home underground. The second was a display well where a drilling demonstration took place. The third was inside the equestrian center, where a packaged-unit geothermal heat pump was being demonstrated.
Evie Sibert of Climate Master, a geothermal systems firm, was on hand to explain the processes used by the various geothermal methods on display. Vendors from Climate Master and Connor Co. showcased the three different methods of providing geothermal heating and cooling to homes.
“Here (at Serosun), vertical loops are preferred,” Sibert said. “It is a matter of doing something the county is familiar with. It is more expensive, but it is the best application for this area.”
As with all of the green technologies showcased at Serosun, Stickland said the products have been proven in the field and fully researched before she accepts them as approved vendors for her development.
“All of the products we recommend here are for our green homes,” she said. “We vet all products to ensure they have a track record of quality; because to be considered technologically green, our homes must use 80 percent less energy and 50 percent less water.”
Stickland said the first model home should be under way this fall and that she hopes the first phase of development will begin soon. As part of her efforts to be on the cutting edge of a sustainable development, Stickland believes education is the key to growth in the industry.
“Our perspective is that this is one of our technology events,” she said. “We want to be the place people come to learn about green products and technologies. I always want to use our project to educate. If you want to promote this lifestyle, you have to educate people about why it is better.”
Serosun Farms is at 45W489 Berner Road south of Hampshire.