Updated 06/04/2012 05:00 AM
Going Green: SUNY Oswego goes geothermal
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The SUNY Oswego science building is going geothermal. As part of the remodeling and expansion of the science building, several steps were taken to reduce the use of fossil fuel energy. The move to geothermal is being made using the land underneath a parking lot.
"We renovated and drilled 240 geothermal wells. They're 499 feet deep and they all go back to a common header in the science building. That will be the heating and cooling for the science building. They drilled all of the holes in a grid pattern. They buried the piping at those well locations and it's just simply a two pipe system with a return at the bottom. " said Allen Bradberry, Project Coordinator.
The always 55-degree solution will warm the building in the winter and cool the building in the summer. The parking lot will go back to being a parking lot, while a mixture of water and glycol is pumped through the well field and pumped back into the building.
"We're looking at an approximately twenty percent energy savings overall, but more importantly it reduces the carbon footprint of the building," said Bradberry.
Electricity will be used to run the heat pumps that circulate the water solution and power for the heat pumps will come from a solar array on the buildings, plus wind and nuclear power, which are all non-fossil fuel based energies.
According to Bradberry, more geothermal use makes good sense. "The advantages are that it's a large sink heat that's there by nature and we can tap into that source anywhere across campus, and utilize it with just circulated water. It's relatively easy to do."