Geothermal Energy Systems is an alternate heating/cooling system when it is time to replace your current furnaces and air conditioning units.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems use electrically powered ground-source heat pumps to take advantage of the earth’s high thermal capacity and constant 50-55 degree temperature as a sustainable energy resource. Water is circulated through a series of pipes buried beneath the earth’s surface that in turn heat the building in winter and cool it in summer. A ground-source heat pump installed in the building provides air handling similar to a conventional forced-air furnace system. However, because it relies on the relatively stable temperature of the earth, rather than the extreme swings in temperature of the outside air, the Geothermal process is 40-70% more energy efficient than conventional systems.
Here is a basic overview of the system’s parts:
Ground Source Heat Exchanger (GSX) – piping that is installed in a vertical well that is the source of the heating and cooling capacity.
Horizontal connection from well to house.
Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) unit, rated in tons, to replace existing heating and cooling units (your current natural gas furnace and air conditioner units).
A resident or business owner would be responsible for the entire installation of the Geothermal Energy System:
The GSX Vertical Well would be located on their private property and would be maintained by the owner.
Horizontal Connection - Resident is responsible to contract with a licensed contractor for the installment of a horizontal pipeline that connects the GSX vertical well to the internal GSHP system. (It is recommended that multiple competitive quotes are obtained). This horizontal connection runs into the housing structure and terminates at a ‘Flow Center’.
It is the homeowner’s and contractor’s responsibility to contact Miss Dig before starting the project.
Running a connection from an existing structure: A licensed contractor will evaluate the best method of installing the horizontal pipeline, if permissible an open trench will be excavated for the pipe to be run in; if structures or other obstacles prohibit open trenching than directional boring will need to be utilized.
New construction: A licensed contractor will evaluate the best method of installing the horizontal pipeline; new construction will normally permit an open trench to be excavated for the pipe to be run in.
Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP). The owner is responsible to contract a licensed Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractor (it is recommended that the contractor be International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) certified) for the installment of a GSHP unit installation. The HVAC contractor will recommend the tonnage size of the unit needed for the structure. (It is recommended that the structure be well insulated and have a HERS Index, Home Energy Rating System that measures how efficient a home performs, at or below 86.) The more energy efficient your home, the less tonnage capacity will be needed to effectively heat and cool the structure.
Current Program for WMS participation is under a moratorium while new Rules and Regulations are updated based on gained experience and lessons learned. WMS is looking into an incentive program instead of a city/municipally owned system.
Current Tons Installed
Total Bore Field Installed in Feet
Total Count - Residential
Total Count - Commercial
Total Count – All
Total CO2 Savings in Tons
Geothermal Basic Information
Geothermal Energy System Brochure
Our new WIRES 2 grant gives us the opportunity to potentially install Geothermal at the 3200 Biddle Building, Bacon Memorial District Library, Electric Department 11th St facility and Templin Medical Building. As this grant has a matching contribution, budgets will be reviewed on what projects will move forward.
Geothermal Energy Savings
Abstract Report on Verification of Expected Savings
Final Report on Verification of Expected Savings