Underground Water Supplies Being Used to Cool Buildings

Underground Water Supplies Being Used to Cool Buildings

With HVAC expenses accounting for a very large percentage of the utility costs for more industrial- and commercial buildings, there is no wonder why many property owners are looking for more efficient ways to heat and cool those spaces.

A story out of Montana, recently, highlighted one unique solution being considered by many around the country.  The use of underground water supplies is being used to cool a large medical facility, while reducing monthly energy expenses.  The building is more than 30,000 square feet and has a variety of spaces intended for a wide array of different purposes.

Of course, the upfront cost of designing such a system and digging a 40 foot long underground aquifer was surely quite immense, but the water moving within that channel is a consistent 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a natural cooling agent, and short of the cost of running pumps to divert that water into the cooling system, there is very little energy consumption associated with this form of cooling.  So, in the long run, the upfront cost will be entirely worthwhile.

The water is pumped through a heat exchanger and then sent back to the aquifer so that it might return to its original 50 degree temperature.  Geothermal cooling has received a great deal of attention over the years, and certainly could provide a very sustainable form of heating and cooling, for those who can swing the upfront expense.

Also needed for this type of system are updated controls. The need for outdoor air temperature sensors, pipe mounted temperature sensors, and duct mounted temperature sensor cannot be overlooked. Additionally, pressure transmitters will be needed to properly control pumps and valves. All this equipment can be purchased from SRP controls. With a wide variety of temperature-, pressure-, and relative humidity control devices, SRP control is a one stop shop for all HVAC projects’ needs.