Darcy puts groundwater to work delivering breakthrough sustainability.
Darcy Solutions’ technology was developed by Dr. Jimmy Randolph, our co-founder and CTO, while working at the University of Minnesota hydrogeology field research facility.
This research established the company’s operating philosophy of “putting ground water to work,” using the superior thermal properties of groundwater to heat and cool commercial and residential buildings.
Darcy’s breakthrough design delivers practical, cost-effective and sustainable heating and cooling. It protects Earth’s natural resources and the health of our environment for future generations.
*As compared with conventional HVAC
Make geothermal heating and cooling practical for all buildings.
Deploy Earth’s renewable heating and cooling resources to reduce our carbon footprint.
Our Team of Specialists
Brian found a love of the land as a child, while spending time on his grandmother’s farm near Willmer, MN. His studies in Economics at the University of Minnesota led him to pursue his MBA at Indiana University. In the early part of his career he was employed by various large oil and gas companies on the west coast and southern gulf coast, regularly working closely with geologists and geophysicists.
Brian’s passion for innovation and problem-solving brought him to work at the consulting firm McKinsey – gaining invaluable knowledge on how to build great companies and design growth strategies. His desire to use innovation to make the world a better place led him to a 14-year career at Cargill.
Brian is always looking for an opportunity to do something impactful and use his 30+ years of business experience to elevate brilliant entrepreneurs. When Brian and Jimmy Randolph met, it became clear that the duo’s shared a desire to protect the planet for future generations inspires their partnership at Darcy Solutions.
Jimmy grew up developing a love of the land on his family’s farm in Northern Minnesota. Growing up his
curiosity to build and develop things fused with his budding interest in environmental sustainability. He graduated from St Olaf College with a BA in Physics and Mathematics before attending the University of
Minnesota where he pursued his doctoral studies in Geophysics.
His research focused on renewable geothermal energy and hydrogeology. From 2014 forward he developed, tested and developed some more – working tirelessly to create a new way to harness geothermal energy. He took the technology from a theory to reality, to ultimately move it out of the UMN laboratory.
Jimmy’s research helped to invent and patent several technologies that “put ground water to work” to produce renewable geothermal energy solutions. This paved the way for the technology that allows Darcy Solutions to bring the most practical, effective and sustainable geothermal technology to market.
Ryan grew to respect humans’ inherent connection with the earth exploring the mountains as an avid snowboarder. He earned his bachelors from MIT and his masters from Colorado School of Mines, both in Materials Science. Learning the science of climate change and experiencing it outdoors helped Ryan develop a passion for environmentalism and sustainability.
Ryan held various engineering and operations roles for the first 8 years of his career. Desiring to make a positive impact for entrepreneurs and small businesses, he subsequently joined MakerGear, a manufacturer of desktop 3D printers. Ryan distinguished himself at MakerGear with his strategic and hands-on nature, which propelled him to the role of Chief Operating Officer, a position he held for 4 years.
After moving to Minnesota, Ryan sought a position in line with his values. He met Brian Larson, Darcy’s CEO, at an event highlighting renewable technologies. As a vegan and passionate sustainability advocate, Ryan immediately connected with the vision and mission of Darcy Solutions. At Darcy he found a company where his efforts will help protect the planet for future generations.
Henry D’Arcy was a French hydrologist, whose pioneering work in the 1800’s brought safe municipal water to France’s growing cities. His work represented the beginning of modern quantitative hydrogeology and endures today in Darcy’s Law characterizing the movement of water. We chose the name Darcy to honor the pioneering work that inspired our mission to solve the challenges of sustainable heating and cooling.
We are in various stages of projects in multiple states currently. Please contact us if you have a project for which you think our technology may be a good fit. firstname.lastname@example.org
As a relatively new company, we have not developed the resources for international operations. However, we’d still love to hear from you as this will inform our expansion plans in the future. email@example.com
Darcy is currently focused on systems requiring 10 tons of heating/cooling capacity or more. A single Darcy wellbore can typically deliver 20 tons of capacity. To be cost effective requires that a project utilizes the majority of this capacity. This means commercial and multi-unit residential buildings are well-suited to take full advantage of the economic benefits of a Darcy system. Single family homes can also benefit when connected to a community/district system.
Each Darcy wellbore will have a header that extends approximately 12 inches out of the ground. These headers can easily be incorporated into the landscaping. They offer the benefit of ready access to the well for maintenance. Another aspect is what you don’t see — the outside appearance of a building and rooftop. By using a Darcy system, unsightly cooling towers and other rooftop units can be eliminated. The elimination of these components provides the additional benefit of making rooftop space readily available for solar installations.
While traditional geothermal systems typically deliver 1 – 2 tons per borehole on average, each Darcy borehole can deliver 20 tons or more. As an example, a building that needs 200 tons of heating/cooling capacity may require 175-200 boreholes spaced every 15-20 feet on a grid. Using a Darcy system would likely require 8-10 boreholes spaced every 30 feet in a line. This line wellbores could run along one length of the building or parking lot. This reduction in footprint requirements enables the Darcy system to readily fit in constrained outside spaces, making it appropriate for new builds and retrofits alike even in the densest urban environments.
Darcy’s technology was developed at the University of Minnesota by a team of expert hydrogeologists. One of these hydrogeologists is our co-founder, Dr. Jimmy Randolph. Darcy supplements its hydrogeologic expertise with the help of our industry partners.
Darcy complements this expertise with a monitoring system that helps ensure each wellbore is performing as intended. Monitoring information is also available to the building operators and the HVAC contractor to provide early identification of maintenance needs. In addition, because the heat exchanger installed in each wellbore is readily accessible and removable, we can quickly remedy underperforming wellbores and/or heat exchangers.
Darcy’s closed loop system only interaction with groundwater is the transfer of heat. The massive volume of water and surrounding earth readily and quickly dissipates/restores the impact of the exchanged energy. The water that circulates through the closed loop does not come into direct contact with the groundwater. These designs do not consume groundwater, remove it from the subsurface, move it between aquifers, or introduce contaminants.
Roughly two thirds of the US population live in an area with suitable groundwater availability and surface proximity for Darcy’s technology. The glaciated regions of the country running from the upper Midwest to New England are particularly well-suited for this technology. Additionally, there are many other areas in the U.S., including the PNW and SE U.S. with suitable groundwater resources. Please contact us for an initial assessment of your region’s suitability.
Traditional geothermal/ground source heat pump systems rely on conduction-based heat exchange. They do this by pumping a heat exchange fluid (typically water mixed with anti-freeze such as glycol) through a closed-loop system consisting of a number of u-shaped plastic pipes. These pipes are placed in boreholes (typically 200-250 feet deep) that enable heat exchange with the surrounding earth. Because plastic piping and the cement grout surrounding it doesn’t exchange heat quickly, a large amount of piping is needed to provide the heating and cooling capacity necessary for a building. Over the course of a heating (or cooling) season, the earth surrounding the piping will gradually cool down (or heat up), decreasing system efficiency.
A Darcy system takes advantage of convection-based heat exchange, providing a much faster and higher capacity approach. Darcy also uses a closed-loop system and a heat exchange fluid. Our system pumps water through plastic piping and does not use anti-freeze. A heat exchanger replaces the u-shaped bend in a traditional system. This heat exchanger is positioned in an aquifer to take advantage of the superior heat exchange benefits of flowing groundwater to heat or cool the closed-loop fluid (water). As a result, a single Darcy borehole can deliver 20 times the heat exchange capacity of a traditional geothermal borehole. Darcy’s system sustains a relatively constant temperature throughout the year and maintains its efficiency throughout a heating or cooling season. This is because the massive quantity of flowing groundwater has high heat capacity to dissipate the heat.