A school in South Australia will become the first in the state to tap geothermal energy to provide cheaper, renewable heating and cooling for its indoor pool facility.
St Peters College, in Adelaide, will have a geothermal energy system designed and installed by Sydney-based company, GeoExchange Australia, to heat its pool and provide air conditioning for the building housing the pool.
The system, also called a geoexchange, will access ground temperatures of 17°C through the installation of a Ground Heat Exchanger (GHX) beneath St Peters’ sports oval, which is located adjacent to the pool. This will consist of 45 boreholes drilled to a depth of 70 metres each.
The water circulated through a polyethylene pipe within the GHX will extract heat from the ground and deliver it to a series of Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs), which in turn will transfer the heat into the pool water, while four GSHPs will supply the pool hall with space heating and/or cooling.
The geothermal technology is expected to save the school around one-third of the energy costs of running its sports centre.
Jason Haseldine, St Peter’s College Director of Finance and Administration, said on Monday that the installation of the geothermal system aligned with the school’s sustainability vision outlined in its Strategic Plan, Our Preferred Future 2015-2018.
“Environmental sustainability is one of the world’s greatest challenges and we must all do what we can to address this global issue – we must focus on minimising our carbon emissions and environmental footprint through energy, water consumption and waste recycling,” he said.
“As a school, these works are also significant for our students,” he added; “they will help us, as educators, continue to lead by example for our boys and educate them about living sustainably so they develop into environmentally responsible adults.”
GeoExchange Australia managing director Yale Carden agreed schools had a leading role to play in the transition to a clean energy future.
“Their leading role is an important element in assisting the South Australian Government achieve their stated target of Adelaide being a carbon neutral city by 2050,” Carden said.
The geothermal works are expected to be completed by mid 2016.