Case Study

Comfort Inn, Pennsylvania


Mark Honchell is an architect whose practice specializes in hotels, and he's learned of the economic benefits to using GeoExchange (geothermal) heating and cooling for producing domestic hot water as well as comfort heating and cooling.

Mr. Honchell's Comfort Inn, located in Towanda, Pennsylvania, is a new hotel that will go into service in late 1995. The rooms will be serviced by 3/4-ton heat pump units, and the common areas with two 3-ton units. But there are also five 5-ton water-to-water units that will be used for heating the pool and making hot water.

Three of the 5-ton units are in series and will produce hot water every day from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. while simultaneously cooling the ground, storing energy for the evening guest room cooling load. The first cost for hot water production will be approximately $12,000, while a conventional boiler system would have cost about $50,000.

Each of the room units will have its own thermostat, along with an energy management system to oversee the entire system. Pumping will be continuous at a fixed speed through a single loop. The design inlet and outlet temperatures are 32 F in winter; 98 F, summer. The cost for loop installation is $7/ft. Overall installation cost is $35,000 over a conventional system, but the dramatic hot water savings contribute to only a 2-year payback.

Also contributing to the payback will be the rate incentive offered by the serving utility, PENELEC. The expected rate is $0.035/kWh.

Project Overview


Located in Towanda, PA


The Comfort Inn, Pennsylavania facility consists of:

Installation Cost

$7/ft loop installation cost

Operation Cost

$0.035/kWh PENELEC incentive

This material was produced from information believed to be true and correct.