The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study uses a geothermal system to provide heating and cooling to Byerly Hall and Fay House. It was originally installed in Byerly Hall and expanded to Fay House during a renovation project. It was a team of SEAS engineering students that analyzed the possibility of expanding the goethermal system to Fay House as part of a class project for ES 96.
How it Works
The water contained in each geothermal well provides a "boost" for the heat exchange method in both cooling and heating modes by allowing the heat pumps to start with 50-degree water as its "raw material," as opposed to a conventional air-exchange system that would start with freezing air in winter and warm air in the summer. (For example, if the outdoor air is 90-degrees, it is much more efficient to transfer the waste heat from cooling the building into 50-degree ground water than 90-degree air.) When operational, water moves cyclically through the ground loop on a 3,000 ft. path, transferring heat from one end to the other along the way.