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Geothermal Energy Utilization for Thermal Heating including Geo-inactive Regions

Edward F. Wahl, PhD, PE

This course focuses on Geothermal fundamentals applicable to the practical & optimum extraction of thermal energy from Earth's Crust for thermal heating purposes. Geothermal energy in current common terminology refers to pockets of hot water or steam near the Earth's surface that can be accessed at reasonable cost. Source and formation of pockets is described. The Earth's Crust physical and chemical properties, as well as brine chemical & physical properties, are needed for direct thermal utilization and are introduced. Depending on local conditions, long term benefits of the thermal utilization will accrue to the facility owner, city or district. Because of the technical complexity, note “complications” in this course presentation, of such projects, there should be many opportunities for design expertise and PE skills in this increasing market. Boise Idaho regional district and the Boise City Mall is used as a case example.

It also provides the theory of & a summary of practical utilization of thermal sources/sinks in the Near-surface Geo-Structure of US Geo-inactive Regions. Successful utilization depends on geographic location and local climatic conditions. Recently there has been federal subsidies to increase the use of this geo-inactive resource and expand its use via new technology developments, commonly referred to as, “GTHP” (Geothermal Heat Pump). GTHP application optimization is a function of geographic location, local climatic conditions, distance from a geothermal source, if any in vicinity, and geology of the crustal surface down to about 400 feet.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.

AIA Members: You must take the courses listed under the category "AIA/CES Registered Courses" if you want us to report your Learning Units (LUs) to AIA/CES. If you take courses not registered with AIA/CES, you need to report the earned Learning Units (not qualified for HSW credits) using Self Report Form provided by AIA/CES.