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ASHRAE/NYSERDA Community Heat Pump Systems Webinar Series

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Heating buildings by burning fossil fuels causes significant emissions of greenhouse gases. Many states already recognize the need to move away from this and have established climate action goals to help.

These policies promote building electrification as the primary method to reduce such fossil fuel combustion and emphasize the use of energy-efficient heat pumps for this purpose.

For example, New York State enacted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) in 2019, which sets nation-leading targets and provides a path to reduce New York’s carbon footprint, make its communities more resilient, and adapt to a changing climate. Work is needed to bring these policies to reality. To meet New York’s 2050 goal by pivoting 4.5 million buildings to heat pumps, the market will need to install heat pumps in more than 400 buildings each day, every day, throughout the next 30 years. 

Where applicable, a community-style thermal strategy can accelerate decarbonization of the building stock, moving from a building-by-building approach to a block-by-block and community-by-community model.

To support this effort, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has partnered with ASHRAE to develop the following series of 17 FREE webinars designed to engage and educate all stakeholders involved in community heat pump system design and implementation. Each free webinar offers 1.5 continuing education credits.

Webinar Series Introduction

In this short video ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler and NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris introduce the series of 17 webinars and highlight community heat pump systems and technologies can be a step towards working to advance clean energy goals. View a complete transcript of the recording here.


Why “District-style” as opposed to “Individual-Building-style”


Project Development and Site Considerations

Webinar Topic #: 1 | Return to Top
Community Heat Pump Systems: What They Are and Why It Matters to You

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Lisa Meline, P.E., Meline Engineering Corporation
Moderator: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., P.E.
Category: Project Development and Site Considerations
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: This webinar is intended for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation.

View Recording of Webinar

* Continuing education credit is not available for the webinar recordings. You must attend the live webinar to qualify for continuing education credit.

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation kicks-off the NYSERDA Webinar series by first introducing the many types of systems which may be categorized as a Community Heat Pump System. These systems may also be referred to as District Energy, District Geothermal or Ambient Temperature Loops. For clarity, industry accepted nomenclature for District Heating and Cooling Systems will be used. A historical overview will be presented as to why Community Heat Pump systems have gained favor globally, including a discussion of policies and legislation pushing for their adoption in the USA.

List of topics to be covered:

  • How is a Community Heat Pump System different from a District Heating and Cooling System (i.e., District Energy)?
  • Timeline/background of ‘how we got to here’ including Federal, State, and Local Policy regarding GHG and their phase-out.
  • What other types of resources might be incorporated into a Community Heat Pump System (discuss site characterization).
  • Discuss varying approaches to Community Heat Pump Systems and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Establish system definitions including overview of District Energy Systems, G4 and G5 and how these concepts can contribute to the decarbonization of heating systems.

Webinar Topic #: 2 | Return to Top
Overview of Community Heat Pump Systems Currently in Operation Globally

Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Lisa Meline, P.E., Meline Engineering Corporation
Guest Speakers: John D. Manning, P.E., President, Earth Sensitive Solutions, LLC; Jeff Quibell, P.Eng., Principle, Falcon Engineering; and Howard Newton, Image Engineering Group, Ltd.
Moderator: Steve Tredinnick, P.E., Burns & McDonnell
Category: Project Development and Site Considerations
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: This webinar is intended for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation.

View Recording of Webinar

Abstract of the presentation: After revisiting the definition of community heat pumps, the presenter will discuss the challenges of implementing these types of systems in both residential and institutional applications. Examples of operating systems both internal and external to the USA will be discussed.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Define Community Heat Pumps, start with the early examples of rural electric cooperatives providing heat pumps to their community on a lot-by-lot basis.
  • Provide case studies of the following projects and include in the discussion the challenges of retrofit v. new construction, how a country’s economic system may create a more favorable environment for implementing a Community Heat Pump System, and talk about reasons a system might underperform as well as any unique site features, design approaches, or challenges for the project. Looking for possible projects from the following locations.

1. New York
2. Canada
3. Denmark or Germany
4. China or Japan or South Korea
5. New Zealand or Australia


Webinar Topic #: 3 | Return to Top
Community Heat Pump System Planning Challenges

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speakers: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., P.E., GWA Research, LLC. and Steve Tredinnick, P.E., Burns & McDonnell
Moderators: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., P.E. & Steve Tredinnick, P.E.
Category: Project Development and Site Considerations
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: This program is targeted at those who are considering Community Heat Pump Systems in locations where the district energy service is provided to multiple buildings. The potential project manager/team will benefit most from this webinar.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will provide an overview of the planning process for a district scale community heat pump-based system. The major considerations that should be addressed in the planning process will be outlined.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Explain how proper planning is essential to reduce both investment and future operating costs.
  • Potential stakeholders in the planning process for a Community Heat Pump system.
  • The importance of scope clarification and final determination.
  • Steps in the master planning pyramid.
  • Methods for establishing planning level loads.
  • Considerations in planning the major system components:
        - The central plant.
        - The distribution system.
        - The building connections.
  • Discuss typical district energy metrics:
        - Cover typical good district energy system development parameters
        - Load density metrics, e.g. Line Heat Density (MW t-hr/ft-yr)
  • Business models for Community Heat Pump systems that are structured as utilities.

Webinar Topic #: 4 | Return to Top
Codes and Standards for Community Heat Pump Systems

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Lisa Meline, P.E., Meline Engineering Corporation
Moderator: Steve Tredinnick, P.E.
Category: Project Development and Site Considerations
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: This webinar is intended for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will provide the attendees with an overview of current published work in Codes and Standards and a summary of topics currently being discussed in technical committees relevant to Community Heat Pump Systems. Additionally, existing guidelines and technical resources will be provided for those involved in planning and design activities.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Discuss the difference between a Code and a Standard.
  • Provide attendees with a listing of design guides and reference material (e.g., ASHRAE Handbooks, ASHRAE Geothermal Heating and Cooling Guide, ASHRAE District Heating and Cooling Guides, etc.).
  • Discuss how the codes and standards for ‘sources and sinks’ vary.
  • Provide a brief overview of the current codes (IAPMO, ICC), Standards (CSA) and state standards and guidelines.

Buildings

Webinar Topic #: 5 | Return to Top
Design for the Consumer Interconnection for District/Community Energy Systems

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Steve Tredinnick, P.E., Burns & McDonnell
Moderator: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., P.E.
Category: Buildings
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: Those engaged in Community Energy System hosting, planning, feasibility analysis, design, and/or construction, but specifically the system designer.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation covers the types of hydronic systems that make a building “connection-ready” to lower temperature community energy systems. General district energy terms will briefly be discussed as well as a review of typical technologies available from heat pump systems as it pertains to supply water temperatures and how the customers interface with the community energy system.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Briefly cover some standard definitions and concepts.
  • System supply temperatures available from different technologies.
  • Discussion on service connection types:
        - Direct connections
        - Indirect connections
  • Need for metering and technologies or solutions available.
  • Delivering Space Heat - Temperature Limitations of Available Methods (especially retrofit systems) regarding generation and terminal units.
  • Thoughts and difficulties on retrofitting existing HVAC systems (gas forced air furnaces, hydronic systems, and steam systems).

Webinar Topic #: 6 | Return to Top
Commercial Scale In-Building Equipment for 4th & 5th Generation Water Sources

Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Steve Tredinnick, P.E., Burns & McDonnell
Moderator: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., P.E.
Category: Buildings
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: Those engaged in Community Energy System hosting, planning, feasibility analysis, design, and/or construction, but specifically the system designer.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation covers the types of equipment used in larger scale community energy systems and compares their advantages and disadvantages.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Technologies available and relative costs
  • Capacity and efficiency ranges
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each technology
  • Examples of 4th and 5th generation district energy systems and design

Webinar Topic #: 7 | Return to Top
Community Heat Pump Systems: Piping, Pumping and System Controls

Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Steve Kavanaugh, Ph.D., University of Alabama, Emeritus
Moderator: Lisa Meline, P.E.
Category: Buildings
Technical level of webinar: Intermediate
Recommended Audience: This webinar is provided for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation; however, the focus of this webinar will be the facilities and system design engineers.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: Depending upon the location and type of Community Heat Pump system designed, many different sinks or sources for heat exchange may be employed. Often the location of the available heat sinks or sources are fixed, requiring a well-thought-out design for pumping and control based on demand by the connected loads (buildings). The challenge is to provide a simple, energy-efficient solution which increases customer comfort in managing, monitoring, and maintaining the system. Creative engineers are able to find solutions that satisfy both construction budget and energy efficiency goals.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Provide a list of design considerations that lend themselves best to different piping/pumping scenarios knowing that constraints often encountered on large-scale projects and especially for building system retrofits.
  • Discuss heat recovery and piping/pumping strategies which eliminate or reduce the need to connect to a Community Heat Pump System. What are complimentary sources and sinks?
  • Fuel flexibility, reliability, redundancy.
  • Critical nature of loads (temperatures etc.), how to adapt to generating sources.

Webinar Topic #: 8 | Return to Top
What is the System Efficiency of a Community Heat Pump System and How it is Calculated?

Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Steve Kavanaugh, Ph.D., University of Alabama, Emeritus
Moderator: Lisa Meline, P.E.
Category: Buildings
Technical level of webinar: Intermediate
Recommended Audience: This webinar is intended for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: Often the design of a Community Heat Pump System is separated into two parts by the owner, builder, or architect: one consultant provides the design for the mechanical equipment inside of the building and a second consultant or perhaps a design-build contractor is hired to the provide portion of the system (heat sink /source) outside of the building. Best practices recommended that there be a single point of responsibility for both halves of the system so that there is an improved likelihood that all components of the Community Heat Pump system are selected and analyzed for best achievable system efficiency.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Introduce all the system components and performance information necessary to calculate system efficiency.
  • Discuss in general terms the AHRI and ISO equipment rating systems. Note shortfalls and challenges.
  • Work through a life cycle cost case study comparing two different systems and the impact of system component selections on the overall system efficiency and carbon footprint.

Webinar Topic #: 9 | Return to Top
Design for Preventive Maintenance and Repairs

Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Steve Tredinnick, P.E., Burns & McDonnell
Moderator: Lisa Meline, P.E.
Category: Buildings
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: This webinar is intended for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation, but specifically the system designers.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation covers basic maintenance practices and procedures for the typical equipment used in the generating plants and customer interconnections.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Briefly cover some standard definitions and concepts.
  • Discuss maintenance procedures and frequency of service.
  • Discuss clearances required for servicing of equipment that should be considered during the design phase (monorails,  davits, service aisles, drains, vents, etc.).
  • Typical monitoring procedures (differential pressure, temperature, flows, alarms, etc.).
  • System Commissioning does not just include controls. Discuss the advantages of early involvement of operators, owners, builders and controls contractors in the design process.
  • Design for 'maintainability'. Consider ‘what if’ scenarios for future equipment replacement, retrofit, or back-up (example of Enmax and NU Boiler), redundancy and troubleshooting appurtenances. Temporary connections (hookups) for equipment replacement or growth.
  • Discuss the value of including realistic maintenance costs in the overall Life Cycle Cost Analysis.

District Distribution Systems

Webinar Topic #: 10 | Return to Top
Geo 101: Basics of Ground Coupling and Other Sources and Sinks for Heat Exchange

Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Lisa Meline, P.E., Meline Engineering Corporation
Moderator: Gary Phetteplace, P.E., Ph.D.
Category: District Distribution Systems
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: Those engaged in Community Energy System hosting, planning, feasibility analysis, design, and/or construction.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will cover the basic methods of ground coupling as well as other terrestrial sources/sinks for heat. Considerations in evaluating sources will be delineated including design requirements (quantities available, temperature, distance from use point, etc.), material properties (fouling propensity, corrosion potential, toxicity), as well as societal issues (extraction and disposal permitting, codes for use/protection of workforce/community, etc.).

List of topics to be covered:

  • Ground Coupling (vertical horizontal including slinkies, angled bores)
  • Ground Water (open w/surface disposal, open w/reinjection, standing column well)
  • Surface Water (open and closed loop coupled, lake/river/sea water)
  • Waste Water Heat Exchange
  • Considerations for novel sources (fouling, corrosion, toxicity, permitting, disposal, etc.)

Webinar Topic #: 11 | Return to Top
Piping Options for Buried Distribution Piping of Community Energy Systems

Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., GWA Research, LLC.
Moderator: Steve Tredinnick, P.E.
Category: District Distribution Systems
Technical level of webinar: Intermediate Recommended
Recommended Audience: Those engaged in Community Energy System hosting, planning, feasibility analysis, design, and/or construction.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will focus on the types of buried piping systems available for Community Energy Systems. The special precautions to those who design and build these systems will be outlined and examples will be provided of why they must be given due merit. Both insulated and uninsulated systems will be discussed and the special precautions that apply to the later delineated. The considerations that must be made in making the decision to insulate or not will be introduced. Actual examples of the calculations needed to make these decisions will be covered in the Webinar #12: “An Introduction to Heat Transfer from Buried Distribution Piping”.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Common Industry Acronyms & Abbreviations
  • Challenges to Distribution System Design
  • Piping and Jacketing Materials
  • Insulation Materials
  • The Field Joint and its Importance
  • The Polyurethane Foam Insulation Destruction Tri-Angle
  • Recommended References

Webinar Topic #: 12 | Return to Top
An Introduction to Heat Transfer from Buried Distribution System Piping

Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., P.E., GWA Research, LLC.
Moderator: Steve Tredinnick, P.E.
Category: District Distribution Systems
Technical level of webinar: Intermediate
Recommended Audience: Those engaged in Community Energy System hosting, planning, feasibility analysis, design, and/or construction.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will focus on the heat transfer from /to buried distribution systems suitable for Community Energy Systems. Soil temperatures and thermal properties will be explained. Both insulated and uninsulated piping systems will be discussed. Example calculations for several of the more common thermal design conditions will be presented. The types of piping systems covered include those introduced in Webinar #11: “Piping Options for Buried Distribution Piping of Community Energy Systems”.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Soil thermal properties
  • Soil temperatures as a function of time and depth
  • Heat transfer at the ground’s surface
  • Steady state heat transfer calculations for buried piping systems
  • Significant thermal resistances
  • Thermal design conditions
  • Economic insulation thickness for a piping system, example calculation
  • Temperature decrease/increase, example calculation
  • Design loads placed on the “central plant” by the distribution piping, example calculation
  • Recommended references

Central Plant

Webinar Topic #: 13 | Return to Top
Large Central Plant Heat Pumps
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: John Florning; Steve Grgas; and Tim Erwin, Ramboll
Category: Central Plant
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: Those engaged in Community Energy System hosting, planning, feasibility analysis, design, and/or construction.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will provide an overview of existing large scale heat pumps functioning as central plants for district heating and /or cooling systems. Examples will be drawn from systems in operation in various parts of the world. Additionally, some of the inherent advantages to large central station heat pump approaches will be discussed.
List of topics to be covered:
  • Explain how most district cooling systems would fit within the description of this webinars title, i.e., a chiller plant is really just a heat pump central plant. Give examples of the scale of district cooling systems and the extent of their deployment.
  • Sewage source systems: Denmark; Canada, Norway, etc.
  • Sea water source systems: Sweden, etc. also note that sea water is used for heat rejection in DC plants.
  • Lake water: Cornell, Toronto.
  • Advantages of large central station approaches:
        - Able to deal with difficult fluids such as untreated sea water, sewage, or TSE.
        - Thermal storage possible, also can be combined with wind or solar PV power to create thermal energy for storage, which is much less expensive to store than electric energy.
        - Large scale solar collection at low temperatures.
        - Seasonal storage more feasible at large scale and low temperatures.

Webinar Topic #: 14 | Return to Top
Building Scale Wastewater Heat Exchange - Thinking Outside the Box

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speakers: Gary Phetteplace, Ph.D., P.E., GWA Research, LLC. and Lisa Meline, P.E., Meline Engineering Corp.
Moderators: Gary Phetteplace and Lisa Meline
Category: Outside the building
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: Those engaged in Community Energy System hosting, planning, feasibility analysis, design, and/or construction.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will primarily draw from the experience of the presenters with using wastewater sources for smaller scale systems normally providing heating/cooling for a single building only. Commercially available modular packaged systems for heat recovery/rejection from sewage sources will also be covered.

List of topics to be covered:

  • Sewage as a heat source/sink for heat pumps.
        - Examples using primary sewage.
        - Examples using secondary sewage.
        - Treated Sewage Effluent for use as evaporative cooling water.
  • Potable water as heat source/sink.
  • Commercially available modular equipment for use with primary sewage.
        - Available equipment capacities.
        - Methods for dealing with fouling.

What Have We Learned

Webinar Topic #: 15 | Return to Top
Performance of Community Heat Pump Systems: A Data Driven Assessment for Residential Applications

Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: TBD
Moderator: Lisa Meline, P.E.
Category: What Have We Learned?
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: This webinar is intended for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation for residential projects.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: The use of scientific principles to design and build mechanical systems for the heating and cooling of buildings is one definition of engineering. How does all of the material presented in this webinar series apply to ‘real world’ applications? In this webinar two examples of community heat pump systems will be featured.

List of Installations Considered for Feature in this Webinar:

  • Whisper Valley
  • Canada
  • New York

Webinar Topic #: 16 | Return to Top
Performance of Community Heat Pump Systems: A Data Driven Assessment for Commercial and Institutional Applications

Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker’s Name: TBD
Moderator: Gary Phetteplace, P.E., Ph.D.
Category: What Have We Learned?
Technical level of webinar: Introductory
Recommended Audience: This webinar is intended for all stakeholders involved in Community Heat Pump system design and implementation for commercial and institutional projects.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: The use of scientific principles to design and build mechanical systems for the heating and cooling of buildings is one definition of engineering. How does all of the information that has been presented in this webinar series apply to ‘real world’ applications? In this webinar two examples of community heat pump systems will be featured.

List of Installations Considered for Feature in this Webinar

  • Project in either Montana or Colorado (Proffer/Austin)
  • New York
  • Canada

Webinar Topic #: 17 | Return to Top
Basics of Rate Structure Development

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Speaker: Brian Kirk, Consultant
Moderator: Steve Tredinnick, P.E.
Category: What Have We Learned?
Technical level of webinar: Intermediate
Recommended Audience: This program is targeted at those who are considering Community Heat Pump Systems, typically in locations where the energy exchange system is provided to multiple property owners for a connection fee. It can also apply to single-campus or institutional owners that employ an “enterprise” utility billing arrangement.

Register

Abstract of the presentation: This presentation will provide coverage of topics for consideration by an owner or developer looking to provide the external (to the individual building) heat exchange system as a utility.

List of topics to be covered:

  • What features of a Community Heat Pump System categorize it as a utility?
  • How does developing a Community Heat Pump system change the roles of building owners, internal champions, facilities/maintenance personnel, and design engineers?
  • What types of Community Heat Pump Systems are most likely to become structured as utilities and what are the legal considerations (franchise fees, right-of-way for distribution, dispute resolution, etc.)?
  • With the utility approach to community heat pump system installations, what policies are required and which government/regulatory bodies need to be included in the project development?
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