In regions with colder climates, a large amount of energy is used to heat homes and offices in the winter months. Office and retail spaces also need cooling for comfort, particularly during the summer months. How can companies reduce the environmental impact and the cost of heating and cooling of their buildings? The answer might be under our feet.
Geothermal energy is a reliable, renewable and sustainable source of energy for the production of heat and electricity. In general, there are two main categories of geothermal energy: high-temperature technologies, and moderate and low-temperature technologies. The high temperature technologies involve drilling several thousand metres into the ground, where hot water or steam reservoirs heated by the earth’s inner hot magma can be reached. The hot water or steam is then piped to the surface and used in different applications.
The moderate and low temperature technologies include ground-source heat pumps (closed loop system) and storage of cooling and heating energy in the bedrock (closed loop system) or in an aquifer (open loop system).
WSP has extensive experience in evaluating and analyzing alternative energy systems for buildings such as office buildings, industrial buildings, hotels, shopping malls, airports, hospitals and other public facilities. Geothermal energy solutions have proven to be a very attractive alternative in many cases as they can reduce the cost of externally supplied energy by as much as 65%. We can provide cost-benefit and investment return calculations for this type of project.
Geothermal energy solutions:
Storage of cooling and heating energy in aquifers
Storage of cooling and heating energy in the bedrock
Ground-source heat pumps (GSHP)
Energy piles in building foundations, containing a circulating medium
High-temperature geothermal energy systems