Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Kenneth H. Means.


As the natural resources for conventional energy will steadily diminish in the future, it becomes necessary to search for alternate sources of energy. One of those sources includes the geothermal energy, which is defined as the thermal energy found in the earth's crust. Ground coupled heat pumps (GCHP) consist of a water-to-air or water-to-water heat pump, a circulator pump, a buried pipe grid and an interconnecting header. Heat is extracted from or rejected to the ground through this buried pipe grid that circulates a heat transfer fluid such as water or a water/antifreeze solution. Energy is spent to run the heat transfer fluid through this ground loop known as circulator pump energy. It plays an important role in the design of a GCHP. Ground coupled systems for residential applications typically require circulator pumps to operate the ground loop. Therefore selecting the right pump and ground loop piping is critical in this design. Care should be taken not to oversize or undersize the equipment that would result in increased installation and operating costs. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).