Ball State has US Largest Geothermal (Heating- Cooling) System


Ball State University known for its campus-wide ground-source geothermal system, is the nation’s largest geothermal heating and cooling system. The geothermal project will extract heat from the ground during the winter and put heat into the ground during the summer to help heat and cool 47 buildings on campus when fully operational. The university anticipates to save $2 million annually in operating costs and cut its carbon footprint by nearly 50%.

Ball State’s new geothermal system that reduces energy costs, diversifies the university’s energy portfolio, and supports good, local jobs. Launched in 2009, Ball State’s geothermal system will replace four aging coal-fired boilers to provide renewable power that will heat and cool 47 university buildings, representing 5.5 million square feet on the 660-acre campus. To provide heating, the geothermal heat pump removes the heat from the fluid in the Earth and transfers it to the building. For cooling, the pump removes heat from the building and transfers it back into the Earth. Ball State has contracted with more than 50 Indiana firms to complete the project, which included drilling 3,600 boreholes around campus.

Work recently began on phase two of the project, and will continue through 2014. The second phase will include installing an additional 1,800 boreholes in a geothermal field on the south side of the campus and a new energy station connecting two 2,500-ton heat pump chillers with a connection loop around the southern portion of campus. Buildings consume about 40% of total energy in the U.S. The Energy Department’s support for projects like the Ball State geothermal system.The innovative geothermal system demonstrates the tremendous potential of sustainable energy technologies, and serves as a model for other major facilities and universities across the nation.

Via Clean Technica