Cost and Performance Analysis for Five Existing Geothermal Heat Pump-Based District Energy Systems in the United States

Research output: NRELTechnical Report

Abstract

District energy systems supplied by geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) have been deployed across the United States for both heating and cooling end uses. To better understand their performance and potential, the geothermal research team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory analyzed cost and performance of five existing GHP-based district energy systems in the United States. The five systems selected are Ball State University in Indiana, Colorado Mesa University in Colorado, Miami University in Ohio, West Union in Iowa, and Whisper Valley in Texas. The necessary information, including district size, operation period, GHP performance, and costs, was collected through literature review and interviews. The survey results indicated the five systems studied consist of geothermal borehole field(s) and ground loop(s) connected to central loop. While the GHPs were in central plants at Ball State University and Miami University, the central loops at Colorado Mesa University, West Wood, and Whisper Valley were connected through service lines to individual heat pumps in each building. Our analysis indicates the systems have been operating reliably and cost-effectively and contributed to a reduction in carbon emissions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-86678

Keywords

  • cost and performance
  • district energy
  • district heating and cooling
  • geothermal heat pump
  • GHP
  • ground-source heat pump

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