Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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December 7, 2012

GROUND SOURCING

Royalton considers geothermal heating

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Geothermal technology, which was developed in the 1950s, has become very common in Europe. The process is making headway in the western states, but has been slow to catch on in Western New York, according to Schmigel whose grandfather started a plumbing business in Buffalo in 1935.

”What we’re really doing is ground sourcing,” said Schmigel.

That is, the heat is taken from the ground where it is a constant 50 degrees and transferred to the building. Geothermal is also used for air conditioning.

“It’s much like a refrigerator works. It takes energy from one spot to another,” he explained. “With geothermal, instead of using air as energy transfer, you’re using the ground ... It’s put through a compression cycle.”

To get the geothermal wires and pipes in the ground, the church lawn had to be dug up. There is horizontal loop field at the church. The “footprint” can be smaller if the pipe is planted deeper. 

Bids closed at 10 a.m. today at the Royalton Town Hall for the highway garage project. “We’re looking to get information,” said Town Supervisor Jennifer Bieber. “They gave a presentation and it seemed a great thing. It’s green energy. It’s really neat and interesting.”

The board wants to see the figures and determine the cost saving before making a decision.

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