"Geothermal Energy: Tapping the Potential"
Author: Johnson, Bill,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: November/December 2008
Ground source geothermal energy enables one to tap into the earth's stored renewable energy for heating and cooling facilities. Proper application of ground-source geothermal technology can have a dramatic impact on the efficiency and financial performance of building energy utilization (30%+). At the same time, using this alternative energy resource can provide significant contributions to an institution's carbon reduction goals. How can one take advantage of this potential energy source to meet campus carbon footprint reduction goals, capital budgets, and return on investment? This article reviews the state-of-the-practice and the kinds of engineering and programmatic expertise that are required to properly scale geothermal applications up to the institutional level and provide optimized benefits. Some pitfalls of poorly-designed systems are described, and approaches to avoid these are presented.
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