Ground provides low-energy cooling for new student centre

Cooling for the nightclub that is part of the newly opened student centre at Coventry University and offices having sealed windows is provided by a ground-source cooling system based on two 100 m deep boreholes. This system for The Hub was installed by GI Energy, formerly Geothermal International, and uses only a faction of the energy of conventional air conditioning. The building is squeezed into a relatively tight space in the city centre.

Cooling is provided by drawing water from one borehole to a heat-pump installation and returning warmed water back underground via the second borehole. The installation is monitored every half hour using equipment in a third borehole to send alerts automatically if the system needs fine tuning. Readings are sent every month to the Environment Agency, which is responsible for regulating and monitoring water extractions.

This installation of ground-source heat-pump cooling helped to meet Building Regulations.

Other features of the building include solar hot water, rainwater harvesting and automatic night-time ventilation with cool air. The concrete walls of the open-plan study area absorb heat during the day and radiate it away overnight.

For more information on this story, click here: Feb 2013, 121
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