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US largest heat pump on schedule

Construction of the largest ground-source geothermal heating and cooling system in the United States is on schedule for completion in 2013.

According to US reports the $75 million project, located on the Muncie, Indiana, campus of Ball State University, will be large enough to heat and cool 47 buildings and save the campus roughly $2m a year over the 30-year life of the system.

The closed loop system consists of 3,600 boreholes drilled 120 m to 150 m deep across the campus’s sports fields and parking lots; about 15 km of pipework making up hot and cold water ‘district’ loops; two energy stations where heat is either transferred to the buildings, or sunk to the ground; and various building interfaces and controls.

Geothermal heat pumps draw heat from the ground to warm water to 65 deg C, or extract heat to cool it to 4 deg C, depending on what is needed.

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