Sports club taps geothermal resources to cut energy costs

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A Victorian sports club expects big savings after tapping into geothermal resources below ground for heating and cooling.

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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.

geothermal aglThe crux of the technology is that the refrigerant assumes the same temperature of the surrounding earth; cooler than the air in summer and warmer in winter.

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.

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3 Comments
  1. Beat Odermatt 5 years ago

    I read that in Switzerland several
    cities are looking at using lakes to provide heating and cooling. In
    a similar way to the project in Victoria, the constant temperature of
    large bodies of water can provide for cheap heating and cooling
    without the need for expensive drilling.

  2. Gordon 5 years ago

    This is more correctly referred to as ground source heating and cooling, rather than geothermal, which is a much deeper heat source.

  3. michael 5 years ago

    Wow, $25-35k to put copper piping 40m underground and any other balance of plant according to the 2-3yr payback and $12k saving a year. Very impressive.

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