Attendees from 10 states moved between six hands-on work stations, rotating between them in one-hour intervals.

A group learns about thermal grouting of vertical boreholes at ClimateMaster's GeoDay Aug. 16 in Lancaster County, Pa. [Photo credit: ClimateMaster]

ClimateMaster is hosting or playing a lead role in several outdoor, multistation, hands-on geothermal sales and training events nationwide - from Texas, Washington and Indiana to Ohio and Pennsylvania. GeoDay events have become a training arena for HVAC, geothermal and drilling contractors nationwide, with ClimateMaster professionals sharing their expertise freely. Proven techniques, and new and emerging technologies are demonstrated.

“We see these events as a Geo 101, master’s degree training and a jamboree all in one,” saidRich Gibson, Northeast residential manager for ClimateMaster. “Trenching, drilling, pond loop application, load-sizing and geo equipment and plenty of expertise on tap are what it’s all about.”  

Among the new locations for GeoDay events was one held Aug. 16 in Lancaster County, Pa. The event drew hundreds of mostly installing contractor attendees from a 10-state region, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and Virginia. Attendees moved between six hands-on work stations, rotating between them in one-hour intervals.

“One of the great things about this type of outdoor training is that nearly every possible means of geothermal exchange is demonstrated here,” explainedJoe Fish, ClimateMaster’s regional mid-east district manager. “It was clear that those who attended our event in Lancaster County had a better knowledge of geothermal technology, its many uses and incredible energy efficiency.”

GeoDay attendees learn about directional borehole drilling during one of several learning stations. [Photo credit: ClimateMaster]

Drew Lingo, owner of R. D. Lingo Mechanical in Lewes, Del., said: “This is the best way to teach professionals about all facets of geothermal technology - to offer it with working displays and with hands-on opportunities.”

Bob Abbott, who’s sold geothermal equipment with four distributors during the past two decades, is now a territory manager with Seaford, Del.-based Pencor Corp., a distributorship that brought several customers to the event.

“This is the first GeoDay I’ve been to,” he said. “It’s great to see different installation methods and techniques, and to see new ideas about how to install these systems. I’m real glad we came.”

BrothersBenandMatthew Zaigerwere guests ofRobert Leap, manager of sales and training for Aepcor, a Somerset, Pa.-based geothermal distributor. Four years ago, Matthew Zaiger started Zaiger Mechanical based in Boswel, Pa. Brother Ben got an earlier start in business with Zaiger Services, based in Waynesboro, Pa. Each had varying experience with geothermal and are glad for the tutelage of Leap and others at Aepcor, though each felt that the GeoDay experience was very helpful.

“Aepcor sells only geothermal equipment,” explained Leap. “So our efforts are focused exclusively on helping our dealer customers improve their familiarity and proficiency with all facets of the technology. We’re based in an older, hydronics area, so our customers do a lot of commercial and residential water-to-water geothermal installations - maybe 35% to 40%. The ClimateMaster event was terrific for me and our dealers.”

Elise Fashnact (left), marketing coordinator for Mt. Joy, Pa.-based HVAC Distributors, and another GeoDay attendee, learn about pond loop geoexchange from ClimateMaster Technical Trainer Sean Hogan (right). [Photo credit: ClimateMaster]

According to Fish, the hands-on workstations/break-outs included:

  • Pond loop: Installations were demonstrated on the farm’s pond. At this station, audience members explored all facets of underwater heat exchangers.

  • Vertical loop: Demonstrations were given of an air-driven rig, bore hole drilling, loop insertion and grouting.

  • Horizontal boring: Trainers demonstrated all elements of the horizontal boring process. Operators used a medium-size boring machine to give attendees a live demonstration of how they bore a hole, track the path from above and then insert and grout the loop.

  • Horizontal loop: Horizontal trenching is a popular geoexchange method used in many designs. Various types of trenching, and pipe fusion, were demonstrated.

  • Products/new equipment technology: ClimateMaster’s newest and emerging technology was on display and operational. Attendees asked questions about equipment, capabilities and troubleshooting.
    Attendees also learned about ClimateMaster’s loop design software, GeoDesigner. The program is a sophisticated yet intuitive tool for sizing units and exchange fields. The software  helps to demonstrate operating costs for potential customers.

  • “We’re just getting started,” saidJohn Bailey, ClimateMaster’s sales and marketing vice president. “Our reps and distributors have been a huge help. Installers and a wide variety of other trade pros are responding enthusiastically, so we plan to make these events bigger, better and more numerous.”

    For more information about other Geo Week events,

    Source: ClimateMaster