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Geo-exchange system to generate renewable heating, cooling

By District Energy posted 02-22-2022 20:22


The University Record


As the University of Michigan makes continued progress toward universitywide carbon neutrality, a geo-exchange facility adjacent to the Leinweber Computer Science and Information Building is planned to supply the building’s heating and cooling.

As a product of the project, the Leinweber Building on North Campus will be all electric, and the first large-scale university building to not rely on natural gas for heating.

The Board of Regents approved the project, which is expected to cost $20 million and conclude in the winter of 2025, during its Feb. 17 meeting. 

Geo-exchange systems, which are similar to more widely known geothermal systems, use the Earth’s constant subsurface temperature as a low-grade energy source. They can be used as either a heat-sink in the summer or low-grade heat source in the winter, thus maximizing energy efficiency.

Because these systems do not burn fossil fuels, they can be an effective resource for institutions seeking to reduce their climate impact.

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