IGSHPA: Geothermal Heating Training, Research & More

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (or IGSHPA) is a non-profit organisation that helps to facilitate the employment of accredited ground source installers, designers, and contractors. IGSHPA also intends to advance the development of ground source heat pump technology through training and research. Read on for more information.

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association shares their resources and expertise with students through the IGPSHPA OKSTATE Education Program. The IGPSHPA OKSTATE Education Program is not the only thing offer by the association as they also perform valuable research into geothermal heating.

IGSHPA has many different goals in relation to the advancement of ground source heat pump training and research. Some of IGSHPAs goals in their mission statement are as follows:

  • Promoting the benefits of ground-source heat pump technology
  • Providing reliable insight and education
  • Sharing key research findings
  • Facilitating a clearinghouse for key information
  • Developing and sharing knowledge about standard practices


With its headquarters based in Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, the Ground Source Heat Pump Association utilizes the cutting edge facilities on the OKSTATE campus for conducting ground source heat pump system installation training as well as performing key geothermal research.

Through training and job services IGSHPA OKSTATE Education offers a network between workers, educators and industry professionals. IGSHPA training is based around accepted standards and procedures as well as helping those interested in geothermal heating with industry insights.

IGSPHA Training

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association argue that training is especially important in the ground source heat pump industry because without proper training ground source heat pumps can be installed incorrectly. Incorrect installation can result in faulty heat pumps which put people at risk of injury.

IGSPHA offers the following geothermal heating training courses to help trainees get ahead in their industry:

  • Accredited Installer (AI)
  • Certified GeoExchange Designer (CGD)
  • Certified Geothermal Inspector (CGI)
  • Certified Residential Geothermal Designer (CRD)
  • Train-the-Trainer Course (TTT)
  • Introduction to Geothermal Systems Technology

Need to contact IGSHPA OKSTATE Education?

If you are interested in contacting the International Ground Pump Association it’s worth mentioning that they do not offer technical advice, consulting or opinions on ground source heat pump installations. If you are in need of technical advice IGSHPA recommends contacting an accredited installer or a certified GeoExchange Designer in your local area.

If you want to contact IGSHPA OKSTATE Education you can do so via the following methods:

  • You can write to them at IGSHPA OKSTATE at this address: International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), 1723 W. Tyler Ave. Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • You can call them with general enquiries on 1-800-626-4747 or (405) 744-5175.
  • For more information on training send an email to igshpatraining@okstate.edu.
  • For general enquiries you can send an email to this address: igshpa@okstate.edu.
  • For questions about membership or conferences email: igshpaconference@okstate.edu.
  • For change of address you can email: igshpa@okstate.edu.

Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs), sometimes referred to as geothermal source pumps, are electronic energy systems that provide central heating or cooling for buildings and households. Ground source heat pumps offer a cleaner and more affordable form of energy to the average home heating system.

How do ground source heat pumps work?

Ground source heat pumps draw upon solar energy by tapping into the warmth of the earth in the winter, and in summer they can use the earth as a heatsink to cool things down inside.

Ground source heat pumps are essentially circular wells that pump water into the ground and back out again. GSHPs use natural heat from the earth to heat the water that will pass through the pipes.

Water is pumped through a ground loop that is located in trenches roughly two meters in depth. Once the water has been pumped through the ground it’s temperature is further increased using a compressor unit.

Ground source heat pumps consist of many different elements including an evaporator, compressor and condenser.

Ground source heat pump benefits

There are many benefits of using ground source heat pumps, over say, gas heating or air conditioner systems. Here are some of the main benefits to using a ground source heat pump system:

  • GSHPs make heating or cooling ones home much more affordable than the average boiler heater
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed ground source heat pumps the most energy-efficient and environmentally clean heating system
  • GSHPs use a valuable natural resource that’s already in abundance - the earth's relatively constant temperature
  • You may be eligible for government assistance under government clean energy schemes
  • Once installed, ground source heat pumps don’t take much effort to maintain

Despite the multitude of upsides to using geothermal heating, there are a few potential drawbacks to the technology. These disadvantages include:

  • GSHPs can sometimes be expensive to install
  • GSHPs are most effective if you have underfloor or air heating systems
  • The installation process is slightly more invasive than other heating system and will most likely cause disruption to your garden

Is a ground source heat pump suitable for my property?

The suitability of a ground source heat pump for your home or business will really depend on your installation budget and the space available. If the garden in question is smaller then there may not be enough space for the appropriate trench to be dug in the installation process.

It’s worth nothing that although the installation of the geothermal heating system takes time, switching to a ground source heat pump can result in significant reductions to heating and cooling bills.

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