Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) and International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) work closely together to promote geothermal heat pump technology.
- GEO’s mission is to support members’ business objectives while promoting maximum, sustainable growth of the geothermal heat pump industry through Advocacy, Partnerships, Public Outreach, and Promotion of Quality Standards.
- IGSHPA concentrates on Training, Workforce Development, Design and Installation Standards, and the overall technical aspects of the industry.
How Does GeoExchange and IGSHPA Work Together?
Geothermal Exchange Organization (GeoExchange) and International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) are both 501(C)(6) non-profit, member-driven organizations established to advance ground source heat pump (geothermal) technology on local, state/provincial, national and international levels.
Below is a Venn diagram, outlining the organizations’ cooperation and goals for promoting the technology.
Ground source heat pump technology is the wave of the future, but the concept isn’t new at all. In fact, Lord Kelvin developed the concept of the heat pump in 1852. In the late 1940’s, Robert C. Webber, a cellar inventor, was experimenting with his deep freezer. He dropped the temperature in the freezer and touched the outlet pipe and almost burned his hand. He realized heat was being thrown away, so he ran outlets from his freezer to his boilers and provided his family with more hot water than they could use! There was still wasted heat, so he piped hot water through a coil and used a small fan to distribute heat through the house to save coal. Mr. Webber was so pleased with the results that he decided to build a full size heat pump to generate heat for the entire home. Mr. Webber also came up with the idea to pump heat from underground, where the temperature doesn’t vary much throughout the year. Copper tubing was placed in the ground and freon gas ran through the tubing to gather the ground heat. The gas was condensed in the cellar, gave off its heat and forced the expanded gas to go through the ground coil to pick up another load. Air was moved by a fan and distributed into the home. The next year, Mr. Webber sold his old coal furnace.
In the forties, the heat pump was known for its superior efficiency. The efficiency was especially useful in the seventies. The Arab oil embargo awakened conservation awareness and launched interest in energy conservation despite cheap energy prices. That is when Dr. James Bose, professor at Oklahoma State University, came across the heat pump concept in an old engineering text. Dr. Bose used the idea to help a homeowner whose heat pump was dumping scalding water into his pool. Dr. Bose fashioned the heat pump to circulate the water through the pipes instead of dumping the water into the pool. This was the beginning of the new era in geothermal systems. Dr. Bose returned to Oklahoma State University and began to develop his idea. Since then, Oklahoma has become the center of ground source heat pump research and development. The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association was formed in Oklahoma, and was based on the campus of Oklahoma State University, where Dr. Bose served as executive director until his retirement in November of 2013.
In 2019, it was decided by Oklahoma State University to find a new home for the association. After looking at opportunities across the country, it was decided to allow IGSHPA to become an affiliate organization with The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), with the final documents approved in September 2020. Now, IGSHPA and GEO are both independent non-profit organizations.