Geo Exchange® provides direct cooling via groundwater
Architect’s rendering, Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center.
The Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center in Florida isn’t any different than similar facilities across the country. It needs to be up and running—no matter what.
However, because cooling is such a large part of the energy load here, the facility sought to attempt operating cost reductions late in the planning process. Conventional HVAC equipment was originally planned, along with a hurricane-hardened enclosure to house most of the mechanical equipment, with cooling towers out in the weather.
Taking a second look, Pinellas found that direct exchange of underground water with inside cooling devices would carry the building at less expense, renewably, without cooling towers, and all the equipment took up a fraction of the (already built) hurricane-proof mechanical area. This is essentially a geothermal heat exchanger function for what we call GeoExchange® cooling.
GeoExchange® for cooling happens here in the Pinellas mechanical room.
Five production wells direct up to 1,500 gallons per minute of underground water through heat exchangers that circulate cooling water throughout the buildings, and three re-injection wells put it back in the aquifer of origin. Since emergency electricity will always be available for the facility, there will always be adequate cooling and no interruption of dispatch, warehousing, logistics, or other public services operating out of the center.
Cooling towers are neither sustainable or cost-free.
Pinellas is another example of eschewing cooling towers to eliminate their potable water use, noise, maintenance expense, and wastewater by-products ineligible for discharge to municipal sewage treatment plants.
Posted in Geo Heat Pump Applications
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