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US’s Largest Ground Source Heat Pump Set for Ball State

Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., is on the cusp of turning on what it says will be the largest ground source heat pump in the U.S., if not the world.

The pump will cut the University’s carbon footprint roughly in half, the school says. It will also eradicate almost all of its $3 million annual fuel bill, but will cost about $1 million a year in electricity to run, reports the New York Times.

Ground source heat pumps – also called geothermal heat pumps – work by running water through pipes below the frost line, which is about six feet underground in Ball State’s locale. This water sits at the soil’s constant 55 degree temperature, meaning that it can be used for heating in winter and cooling during summertime.

The Ball State project broke ground in May 2009 and, when finished, will have cost $75 million to $80 million, the Times reports.

A recently opened IKEA store near Denver, Colo., uses a ground source heat pump. The pump was installed at the Centennial, Colo., store in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL is based in Denver suburb of Golden, Colo.

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2 thoughts on “US’s Largest Ground Source Heat Pump Set for Ball State

  1. The project costs $80M and the annual savings is a $2M so it would take almost 40 yrs to recover the investment, is it a good investment? of course there is a carbon reduction ..

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