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NSE’s Urban Geothermal Project Featured on Spectrum News and ESF’s “Going Green” Program!

Natural Systems Engineering’s Kyle Thomas discusses the performance of our recent urban retrofit geothermal project and NYSERDA’s incentives on Spectrum News’s and ESF’s “Going Green” television program.

Front Yard Geothermal Drilling – Tipperary Hill, Syracuse

 

Solar Power during the Eclipse!

Here in Central New York we experienced 68% of totality during the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.  There seemed to be general agreement among observers that there wasn’t a significant perceptible reduction in ambient light during the event.  But check out the reduction in solar PV output during the ~1:30 to ~3:30 PM timeframe and the peak at 2:38 PM in the plot below.  The reduction in output is significant, but comparable to a cloudy period based on a comparison with the cloudy afternoon of August 15 the previous week.

Solar power on Eclipse Day.

Porous asphalt vehicle display lot completed for Crest Acura!

With funding under Onondaga County’s award-winning Save the Rain program, Crest Acura’s porous asphalt lot was completed this summer.  The project was designed by Natural Systems Engineering and constructed by Lan-Co Construction (East Syracuse, New York).  The porous asphalt was designed to capture runoff from the 10,000 sq ft porous surface and the 9950 sq ft impervious asphalt lot located to the northeast.  Roughly 1000 sq ft of greenspace was added to replace asphalt in the right-of-way of the City of Syracuse.

The project will manage a minimum of 400,000 gal of strormwater per year, removing that flow from Syracuse’s combined sewer system.

 

 

NYSERDA Launches $15 Million Initiative to Spur Ground Source Heat Pump Market!

Individual Projects can Receive up to $1 Million Rebate Depending on Size

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced on May 30 the availability of $15 million in rebates for the installation of ground source heat pump systems for residences, businesses and institutions. The announcement states that “renewable heating and cooling technologies such as ground source heat pumps not only provide environmental benefits but also provide energy bill savings, increased comfort levels and health benefits compared to conventional heating and cooling technologies.”

The amount of funding available to each project will depend on its size. Smaller projects (e.g., residential and small commercial buildings) can receive up to $15,000 when the installation is completed. A typical residential system will qualify for about $6,000. Larger projects (e.g., multi-family, hospitals and college campuses) can receive up to $500,000 per building with payments being made throughout the project. No single site can receive more than $1 million.

Rebates will be available to qualified installers for two years or until all funds have been exhausted. The total amount of the rebate will be deducted from the total cost of the system, thereby passing the savings along directly to consumers. Any ground source heat pump system for which installation was complete on or after January 1, 2017, and that meets the requirements of the program, is eligible.  Only participating, qualified designers and installers may submit applications.  Natural Systems Engineering is such a provider!

To discuss an application for your project, please contact:

Kyle E. Thomas, P.E.

Natural Systems Engineering, PLLC
315-425-9347
kthomas@naturalsystemsengineering.com

Natural Systems Engineering’s Kyle Thomas Quoted in Long Island’s Newsday

Natural Systems Engineering’s Principal, Kyle Thomas, was quoted for this Newsday (New York) newspaper article on green stormwater management.   The story describes how the Nassau County municipalities of North Hempstead, Great Neck Plaza and Floral Park have released their 2017 Stormwater Management Reports calling for the management of stormwater water in an eco-friendly manner.  Thomas was interviewed to provide a somewhat technical perspective on what management of stormwater in a green fashion actually means.

 

A Village of Great Neck Plaza street sweeper

NSE’s Urban Residential Geothermal Retrofit project named a NY-GE0 2017 Top Job Finalist!

Natural Systems Engineering’s Urban Residential Geothermal Retrofit project has been named a Top Job Finalist for the NY-GEO 2017 Conference!  The conference will be held on April 19-20, 2017 at the Albany Radisson Hotel.  The Top Job competition is at 1:30 PM on April 20th.

Looking forward to sharing the challenges and experiences on this job and hearing ideas from others.

Front Yard Geothermal Drilling – Tipperary Hill, Syracuse

 

Urban Retrofit Geothermal System Results are In!

The hydronic and forced air components of the ground source heat pump system at Bryant Avenue Syracuse, were completed in December 2016, thus completing the urban retrofit geothermal project.  The heat pump is a 4-ton combination (water-to-air and water-to-water) unit.  The forced air is given priority to bring the house to temperature.  The system then switches to water to fill the buffer tank for the radiant system.  Three zones of hydronic call for water from the buffer tank to heat the floors.

Given the contribution of the solar PV the first utility bill following installation shows delivery charges only!  Note the drastic reduction in natural gas usage from 2016 to 2017!

Stay tuned.  An analysis of the return on investment to follow on this blog.

 

Final 2016 “Save the Rain” Green Infrastructure Project Complete!

In November 2016, construction was substantially completed for the Gear Factory Porous Asphalt lot serving the northern 200 block of South Geddes Street.  The project involved conversion of impervious alleys and a parking lot associated with the Gear Factory building and the building housing City Hardware into a porous asphalt lot and infiltration basin, which will manage runoff from the 19,000 sq ft of impervious hardscape and almost 15,000 sq ft of rooftop.  The project will manage roughly 630,000 gal of runoff annually preventing that volume of runoff from entering the City of Syracuse’s combined sewer system and mitigating combined sewer overflows from that system.

Gear Factory Alley Porous Asphalt

Habitat Restoration Measures Completed in Ley Creek, DeWitt, NY

Bottom Slope/Fish Ramp at Ley Creek

Bottom Slope/Fish Ramp at Ley Creek (pre-existing stone dam on the left)

Streams and lakes in Onondaga County in Central New York area have been significantly altered and degraded as a result of urbanization and industrialization.  Located in the Lake Ontario watershed, the area is eligible for funds under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for habitat improvements in the watershed.  In 2010, the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA), secured funding under the GLRI for restoration measures in the Onondaga Lake watershed.

Following the successful restoration of Beartrap Creek in Salina, New York in 2010,  an additional habitat restoration effort was undertaken in the South Branch of Ley Creek in DeWitt, New York.  The Central New York Chapter of the IWLA, in consultation with the Onondaga Environmental Institute (OEI), identified a low head stone dam suspected as acting as an impediment to upstream migration of walleye and northern pike for spring spawning as an opportunity for improvement.  Natural Systems Engineering designed a stone bottom slope (or fish ramp) consisting of field stones placed to the toe of the dam to allow fish passage during periods of higher streamflow.   Partners on the project include  Joe Green Excavating (Phoenix, New York) for construction, OEI for pre- and post-construction biota monitoring, and the Central New York Chapter of the IWLA who was instrumental in site selection and logistics.

Urban Geothermal Retrofit Update!

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Photograph 1: Grouting of geothermal wells

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Photograph 2: GeoStar 4-ton Combination Heat Pump

In the late summer and early fall, the urban retrofit geothermal project located at 248 Bryant Avenue in Syracuse, New York was completed.  Pipes were fused and run into the basement and pressure tested.  The wells were then grouted with a flowable cementitious grout (See Photograph 1).
Following completion of the site work, the mechanical contractor, Renaissance HVAC (Verona, New York), completed the installation of the 4-ton GeoStar Cypress Combination heat pump see Photograph 2).  Wells were completed by purging and filling with a 20% ethylene glycol solution for freeze protection.  The combination heat pump system allows the heating of the house both with air and radiant hot water and air conditioning in the summer.  The geothermal heat pump will be powered by the grid-connected 6.4 kW solar array mounted on the home’s rooftop.

Piping and the heat pump system were provided by Phoenix Energy Supply who, along with Renaissance HVAC, also provided tremendous support on this challenging project!  The next steps on the path to net-zero are to connect domestic hot water to a heat pump and switchout the natural gas fueled stove and oven!