Example of a horizontal loop geothermal installation. (Image courtesy of IGSHPA).
Irving, Texas — The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) created a new group within its Building and Construction Division named the Geothermal Steering Committee that will focus specifically on the geothermal industry. PPI is the major North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry. This recent action to form the Geothermal Steering Committee follows a decision by the PPI Board of Directors that geothermal ground source activities will be the focus of the Building and Construction Division (BCD).
PPI Director of Engineering Lance MacNevin stated, “PPI and our members promote the adoption of geothermal technologies to help reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling buildings, saving owners money. Other benefits of ground source systems are better reliability and building resiliency, with no exposed outdoor components. Also, water-to-water heat pumps are a perfect match for hydronic heating and cooling distribution systems, which are comfortable and efficient technologies for use in residential and high-performance commercial construction.”
“Since PPI was founded more than 65 years ago, it has always strived to be on the cutting edge of research, engineering and technology,” said Tony Radoszewski, CAE, president of PPI. “We are very pleased to provide the same impartial support for the types of piping and materials used in geothermal and working with the organizations that set standards for the manufacturing practices and installation methods of geothermal systems. I know our members are very enthusiastic about this latest initiative.
“It is also important to note that the timing of this decision by our board was fortunate because the U.S. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 reinstated the tax credit for fuel cells, small wind, and geothermal heat pumps. Signed into law in February 2018, it provides a 30 percent federal tax credit for geothermal, which, in some states, also qualifies for a state rebate.”
The new Geothermal Steering Committee’s activities include supporting industry efforts to update geothermal standards and codes, such as ANSI/CSA/IGSHPA C448, IAPMO’s UMC and USHGC, and ICC’s IMC and IRC; working closely with IGSHPA, GEO and other related organizations; publishing documents about the use of plastic piping systems for geothermal applications; and serving as a technical resource for geothermal system designers, with regards to plastic piping technologies.
The PPI Building and Construction Division, which focuses on pressure piping systems used within buildings and on building premises, represents plastic pipe manufacturers that produce various types of piping systems used in outdoor heat exchangers, or ground loops, such as HDPE, PEX, PE-RT and PP piping systems.
The association also joined the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) and was a first-time sponsor for the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) Conference, which was held in March.
When announcing that PPI has joined GEO as an allied organization, GEO Chief Operating Officer, Ryan Dougherty, said “PPI has a clear commitment to the future of the GHP industry, through continued development of innovative piping solutions for ground source heat pump systems. It has already supported our work in Washington, D.C. and I look forward to continuing the collaboration.”