NWTC’s new Great Lakes Energy Education Center, GLEE, will be one of the most energy-efficient buildings in Wisconsin. It will be net-zero capable. One system being used to assist in the energy use status is a geothermal field. The pictures below show the drilling of the geothermal bore holes. The bore holes are typically 300 feet deep and 6 inches in diameter. HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) tubing is placed into the hole and then the hole is filled with a grout. A glycol/water mixture is pumped through the tubing and back to the heat pumps. The geothermal field will absorb the heat from the ground in the winter to heat the building. The system will essentially work in reverse during the summer by removing the heat from the building and storing it in the earth.
GLEE will have a total of 4 circuits consisting of 11 bore holes each, for a total of 44 bore holes. The system has a capacity of approximately 70 tons of cooling.
We worked with Tom Van De Yacht of Ground Source out of De Pere and Gordy Oosterhouse of G.O. Loop out of Randolph to assist our mechanical department with the details of these geothermal fields. We discussed field layout, applications, installation, and pro’s and con’s. Ground Source and G.O. Loop are contractors working on GLEE. General Contractor SMA Construction expects the building to be completed by the end of 2017.