Sunteq, Ltd. was founded in 1978 as an HVAC contractor by G. Daniel Woodring, a chemical and mechanical researcher who was issued patents for inventions in 1966 and 1971 for chemical processes involving heat exchange.In 1981 we installed our first geothermal heat pump and by 1982 we were building some units. But, because of the intensive man hour requirements to manufacture units, we returned to purchasing geothermal heat pump units from other manufacturers.
Started in 1989
But in 1989 we felt that the geothermal equipment market availability was too limited and we returned to building many of our own units. We felt that the ground source heat pumps on the market were not specifically designed for the application for which they were being installed. Units that worked well on closed loops used enormous quantities of water on open loop applications (pumping water from the ground in those large quantities is very expensive) and units that worked well on open loops had too much pressure drop for closed loop operation, requiring two or more circulators that doubled pumping energy costs.
Designed for the application
We began by piping the heat exchangers specifically for the application: The heat exchangers used on geothermal heat pumps that were to be used for open loop applications were piped in series for maximum heat extraction with an absolute minimal water use (averaging 1 1/4 GPM per nominal ton -12,000 BTUH – of heating capacity and 3/4 GPM per nominal ton of cooling capacity). Heat exchangers used on units that would be performing on closed loops were piped in parallel for minimal pressure drop and maximum water flow rates allowing up to 15 GPM flow utilizing a single circulator and an appropriately designed ground loop.
Other market needs
We began to see other limitations in equipment availability. Son Kerry Woodring joined us full time in 1993. That year we developed staging and zoning geothermal heat pumps and assumed responsibility for all field operations
We thought, “Why should it require two or three completely separate systems to zone a house when the technology exists to do it with a single unit.?” Supermarket rack refrigeration utilizes this technology with multiple compressors to provide multiple “zones”, but of course, rack refrigeration is for cooling only (one way refrigerant flow).
Dealing with problems
The complexities of reversing presented multiple challenges and the need to deal with oil return problems, two way metering, unbalanced refrigerant charges, receivers that are only designed to function in a one way circuit, filter/driers and sight glasses that are useless if located in the liquid line when a two-way thermostatic expansion valve is used for metering, electrical component design and selection (to be able to stage disparitely sized compressors), lack of room thermostat compatibility, etc.
In 1994 Enviroteq, a division of Sunteq, Ltd., was established to perform the research and development necessary to resolve those problems and to select and assemble the components required to manufacture geothermal heat pumps.
Over the past twenty years we expended many, many thousands of dollars dealing with and resolving these problems (admittedly peanuts for the major players). Now, years after the introduction of our first geothermal heat pump, the evolvement of our equipment has reached a high level of technical sophistication. Reliability has improved significantly and we have brought our equipment to market (but, just as with most manufacturer’s electro-mechanical products, ours are not perfect either).
Dealer inquiries invited
If you are interested in considering dealership possibilities you can contact us at 814-234-2127, 800-GEO-6772 (800-436-6772). Or, of course, via email at email@example.com.