Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

A. Gray Mullins, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rajan Sen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Stokes, Ph.D.


heat pump, soil, air conditioning, energy


With the heightened importance of green engineering in today’s society, harnessing the Earth’s internal energy has become ever more important. Specifically, the use of geothermal heat pumps as a means of heating and cooling homes and municipal buildings is on the rise. However, due to the high cost of installation and limited amount of research conducted, geothermal systems in the State of Florida have yet to meet their potential as an alternative heating and cooling source. With Florida’s relatively constant ground temperature of 72°F, an above average temperature gradient for both heating and cooling of indoor areas is provided. To this end, this thesis investigates different geothermal systems and their ability to utilize ground energy storage. To conduct this research, four different geothermal systems were installed and monitored over a period of one year. Testing of the installed systems monitored not only overall efficiency, but also the soils reaction to heightened energy input. Conclusions and recommendations are made as general design parameters for vertical column geothermal well systems in the state of Florida.