by Maharishi University of Management, USA, Achievements
19 July 2009
Maharishi University of Management has installed the first phase of the campus-wide geothermal heating and cooling system in the new storage building by the Golden Dome Market, following the geothermal installations completed a few years ago in the new dormitories.
Geothermal technology involves drilling holes in the ground, inserting loops of pipes, then circulating water through the pipes. A three-ton capacity heating pump extracts the heat coming from 15 feet below ground where the temperature is a constant 55 degrees. The system then concentrates the heat and a blower circulates it through the existing heating ducts. During the summer, the process is reversed to take advantage of the cooler earth temperature. The electricity to run the compressor will be provided by solar and wind energy.
After this testing phase, the rest of the campus buildings will be retrofitted to replace the gas-burning heating system. Some pipes have already been installed for the Sustainable Living wing of the Library and Henn Mansion.
“This is going to put us way ahead in our efforts to become one of the top green universities in the country,” said Mark Stimson, sustainability coordinator, accredited by I.G.S.H.P.A. as a geothermal installer.
New buildings such as the Sustainable Living Center already include geothermal heating and cooling systems in their designs.
Mr. Stimson estimates that installation costs can be recouped in 10 years or less in utility savings. “Our goal is to reduce the usage of natural gas by 85 percent,” he said. While the pilot project is being funded by the University, future installations will depend on grants, loans, and donations.
Another recently installed green feature is a 1,700-watt tracking solar array that automatically follows the sun during the day and powers three classrooms and several offices in the Sustainable Living Wing.
The University is also exploring other options to reduce its carbon footprint such as a wind farm and a water-heating solar array.
© Copyright 2009, Maharishi University of Management