In an Australian first, AGL Energy has joined with a local Victorian sports club to install the state’s first geothermal cooling and heating system in a building.
The “GeoAir” facility at the Maroondah Sport’s Club uses the earth’s constant temperature to heat and cool underground pipes. The emerging technology uses a pump to send refrigerant underground through copper lines in a small well about forty metres deep.
The refrigerant is then pumped back to the surfaces at the desired temperature and most of the cooling or heating has already taken place.
One of the key advantages of this technology is its low environmental impact. With energy derived from converting heat extracted from the earth, emissions are low to zero and no carbon dioxide is released.
It also does not create any noise pollution, excess waste or by-products, and only a small environmental footprint is left behind.
Further to this, the system uses the ground loops as a condenser, removing the need for external air conditioning equipment. It has the highest known efficiencies of any air-conditioning system
Utilising the earth’s constant temperature, the GeoAir geothermal system provides a renewable source of energy that will save the club up to $12,000 in the first year and up to $150,000 over the next ten years.
Maroondah Sport’s Club Manager, Julian Cosmi, said the club has been looking for a way to reduce energy costs and is now looking forward to “forward to redirecting the savings to support the club”. It estimates the technology will save the club up to $12,000 in the first year and up to $150,000 over the next ten years.
“[The system] will reduce the club’s heating and cooling costs by 60 per cent and as an added bonus the system will also provide hot water for the club.”
Cosmi added that while GeoAir geothermal heating and cooling systems incur higher upfront costs than other options, the savings are significant.
“While it’s an investment to install a new heating and cooling system, the payback of two to three years is relatively fast given that it will help the club to keep it’s energy costs under control”.
AGL’s General Manager of Marketing and Retail Sales, Mark Brownfield, said the Maroondah Sports Club is an excellent example of “savings that can be made from utilising new technology” such as geothermal.