College conducts tests for applicability of new geoexchange system

By District Energy posted 11-15-2019 15:07

  

Andrew Sasser, The Dartmouth

Summary

As students walk across the Green over the next few days, they may notice another fenced-off, ongoing campus project. Earlier this week, the College commenced drilling wells on the Green to learn more about the viability of a geoexchange system at the College, which would be a renewable energy option to meet up to 30 percent of the College’s heating needs. 

 According to facilities operations and management associate director Tim McNamara, this drilling was done to test the viability of geoexchange heating as an alternative to the current steam-powered heating system. 

Geoexchange heating is a mechanism of heating that relies on the difference in temperature between the surface and underlying rock. According to sustainability director Rosalie Kerr ’98, geoexchange heating involves moving heat without burning oil to either heat or cool buildings. McNamara added that geothermal exchange with hot water could be up to 15 percent more efficient than the current steam-based system the College uses.  

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