Project Files: Geothermal Protects Mission-Critical SystemsCompany: Egg Geothermal Consulting

Customer: Sussex County (Delaware) Emergency Operations Center

Installation: Retrofit-upgrade installation of Class V Thermal Exchange geothermal boreholes system tied to Bosch FHP EC Series heat pumps (0.5-24
ton capacity) to cool and heat the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Completion: October 2013

Objective: To eliminate incidents of thermal retention occurring during summer months that could cause the air conditioning system to fail in the mission-critical facility. The original closed-loop system design had too few loops to accommodate the cooling-dominant load.

Work Completed: Opened in 2008, the Sussex County EOC came with a closed-loop geothermal system that began to produce higher-than-normal interior temperatures that threatened the building’s air conditioning system. A loss of air conditioning could imperil the facility’s sophisticated electronics equipment. Consultant Jay Egg, Egg Geothermal Consulting, identified the problem as thermal retention within the closed ground loop and recommended a retrofit upgrade by adding a new 4-borehole decoupled open-loop secondary circuit to cool the closed loop as needed. The new upgrade keeps interior temperatures where they should be and reduces electric use to less than $4 a day. As construction proceeded, the 13 Bosch heat pumps did not require modifications and continued to function in supplying cold and hot air to the EOC.

Quote: “I’m pleased that we got to leave the heat pumps intact through the retrofit. I know that when it’s eventually time to upgrade, we’ll stay with Bosch FHP heat pumps.” — Steve Hudson, director of technical engineering, Sussex County, Delaware

Publication date: 6/16/2014 

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