Cold Climate Technology


ColdClimate™ and GeoSource® are exclusive trademarks of ENERTECH Global LLC, USA

When dealing with winter temperatures as low as -60°F (Minnesota’s state record set in nearby Tower on 02 FEB 1996)—Northern GroundSource makes no compromises in its geothermal design and installation practices.

Since 2001, Northern GroundSource has developed and refined many advanced approaches which can help achieve 100% unassisted geothermal heating without over sizing the GSHP system or equipment.

Many of the methods Northern GroundSource developed have since become industry standards—including longer nominal loop sizing for northland geothermal systems, as well as advances in pond heat exchanger design and construction (an area in which we are highly specialized—see example pictured below).

ColdClimate™ versus "Cooling Dominant"

Cold Climate Geothermal Install

A 5-Ton ECONAR GeoSource® 2000 DualTEK combines hydronic in-floor heat (basement and garage) with forced-air heating and cooling for a new home near Duluth (installed 2001).

A vital companion to the advanced design and installation practices of Northern GroundSource has been the ColdClimate™ heat pump technology originally developed in the early 1990s by Minnesota-based manufacturer, ECONAR Energy Systems Corp. At that time, most ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) were made in the southern United States where the equipment was designed for higher capacities in cooling than heating…

A few reputable "southern" heat pump brands had already started migrating northward where they were being used more and more for heating—in increasingly colder climates—and it soon became apparent that additional supplemental electric backup heaters were necessary to make up for the built-in equipment shortfalls at the time.

ECONAR Energy Systems set out to engineer a heat pump with greater BTUH capacity per GSHP Ton in heating while still providing sufficient cooling. They soon achieved a revolutionary heat pump technology which has set a new standard for the extreme northern climate: ColdClimate™ Geothermal Technology. It allowed for 100% geothermal heating as far north as Canada…without the need for auxiliary heat!

An Orphaned Technology Rescued…"Made Better" by ENERTECH

By 2008, ECONAR had grown to become one of America'a leading heat pump manufacturers—and the successful family-owned business was sold later that year to Wisconsin-based Research Products, manufacturer of Aprilaire indoor air quality products. The ECONAR corporation was soon renamed GeoSystems, LLC, and an excellent new team of engineers set out to advance ColdClimate Technology even further while meeting ever-increasing Energy Star efficiency requirements.

Unfortunately, due largely to the weak economy which soon followed, GeoSystems struggled to gain momentum: Parent company, Research Products, opted to cut its losses and close down GeoSystems permanently by Fall 2012. Along with it, every sign of the original ECONAR "company" would sadly cease to exist. All the valuable product patents and trademarks—the core assets of the famous ECONAR/ColdClimate™ "brand"—would become effectively orphaned.

Immediately recognizing the value of these orphaned assets, ENERTECH Global LLC (a long-established ECONAR competitor and manufacturer of GeoComfort, Hydron-Module, and TETCO heat pumps) negotiated with Research Products to acquire the intellectual properties. The rescue came much to the relief of veteran cold climate geothermal contractors like Northern GroundSource who were already well aware of ENERTECH's competetive commitment to "Geothermal Made Better."

It also soon became apparent that the company would hold true to it's famous slogan: In only a short time ECONAR ColdClimate Technonolgy was faithfully resurrected inside ENERTECH's own Mitchell, SD manufacturing facility and strategically placed under the sturdy, long-standing TETCO brand name. Under close new engineering scrutiny, and by adapting the same advanced production processes and quality control procedures as the rest of ENERTECH's famous brands, the faithfully rescued ColdClimate line suddenly became fundamentally…improved!

96% to 100% Geothermal Heating for the Extreme Northern Climate

The long, cold nights of a northern Minnesota or Wisconsin winter generally call for longer heating run times, which in turn can run down earth loop temperatures—as low as 30F or even 25F. Lower loop temperatures usually result in lower GSHP heating capacity.

TETCO GeoSource® & ColdClimate™ heat pumps, newest members of the ENERTECH family of excellent geothermal products, remain specially engineered to produce more heating BTUs per manufactured heat pump Ton at colder loop temperatures. And they are now even "made better." This can make a difference in the extreme North where annual heating degree days exceed 10,000. (By comparison, Des Moine, IA, has 6,500 heating degree days.)

By also offering you the exceptional heat pump technologies of Bosch® and Hydron Module®, Northern GroundSource can help you find the geothermal solution that is just right for you. At highly competitive cost, your GSHP system will be sufficiently sized and designed so that even under the most extreme winter conditions, you will benefit from 96-100% geothermal heating!

Cold Climate Geothermal Install Cold Climate Geothermal Install Cold Climate Geothermal Install Cold Climate Geothermal Install Cold Climate Geothermal Install Cold Climate Geothermal Install

Northern Minnesota installation of a 72,000 BTUH closed-loop pond heat exchanger through 8 inches of ice in 13 feet of water, December 2005. Home in background (3rd photo) was presently under construction-and Northern GroundSource found a way to ensure that highly economical geothermal construction heat would be available over winter prior to spring occupancy. The supply-return pipes run 60 feet to shore then 200 feet to the house underground. At the mechanical end is a state-o-the-art ECONAR GeoSource® Invision Q18KW6T-DWR heat pump, which provides forced air heating & cooling and hydronic heating, with added capacity for full-time domestic hot water.