What does a Geothermal Technician do?
Perform technical activities at power plants or individual installations necessary for the generation of power from geothermal energy sources. Monitor and control operating activities at geothermal power generation facilities and perform maintenance and repairs as necessary. Install, test, and maintain residential and commercial geothermal heat pumps.
- Identify and correct malfunctions of geothermal plant equipment, electrical systems, instrumentation, or controls.
- Install, maintain, or repair ground or water source-coupled heat pumps to heat and cool residential or commercial building air or water.
- Monitor and adjust operations of geothermal power plant equipment or systems.
- Adjust power production systems to meet load and distribution demands.
- Backfill piping trenches to protect pipes from damage.
- Calculate heat loss and heat gain factors for residential properties to determine heating and cooling required by installed geothermal systems.
- Design and lay out geothermal heat systems according to property characteristics, heating and cooling requirements, piping and equipment requirements, applicable regulations, or other factors.
- Determine the type of geothermal loop system most suitable to a specific property and its heating and cooling needs.
- Dig trenches for system piping to appropriate depths and lay piping in trenches.
- Prepare newly installed geothermal heat systems for operation by flushing, purging, or other actions.
- Identify equipment options, such as compressors, and make appropriate selections.
- Install and maintain geothermal system instrumentation or controls.
- Maintain electrical switchgear, process controls, transmitters, gauges, and control equipment in accordance with geothermal plant procedures.
- Maintain, calibrate, or repair plant instrumentation, control, and electronic devices in geothermal plants.
- Perform pre- and post-installation pressure, flow, and related tests of vertical and horizontal geothermal loop piping.
- Apply coatings or operate systems to mitigate corrosion of geothermal plant equipment or structures.
- Collect and record data associated with operating geothermal power plants or well fields.
- Determine whether emergency or auxiliary systems will be needed to keep properties heated or cooled in extreme weather conditions.
- Install and maintain geothermal plant electrical protection equipment.
- Integrate hot water heater systems with geothermal heat exchange systems.
- Operate equipment such as excavators, backhoes, rock hammers, trench compactors, pavement saws, grout mixers or pumps, geothermal loop reels, and coil tubing units (CTU).
- Prepare and maintain logs, reports, or other documentation of work performed.
- Test water sources for factors such as flow volume and contaminant presence.
- Weld piping, such as high density polyethylene (HDPE) piping, using techniques such as butt, socket, side-wall, and electro-fusion welding.