A New Proposal Could Heat and Cool Buildings Using Groundwater

In Minneapolis, a new proposal has been introduced for a city project that would include the use of a thermal energy system using an underground aquifer. The project includes a food hall and apartment complex on the edge of the Mississippi river. Minneapolis is known for being one of the coldest cities in the United States and reliance on natural gas is common in the region.

An Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage System works by taking advantage of relatively stable underground temperatures. A system of wells and heat exchangers are implemented to store and recover thermal energy underground. To cool a building, heat is extracted to store and recover thermal energy underground. To heat a building, the reverse occurs by pulling warm water and circulating it through buildings.

Aquifer thermal energy storage systems are beginning to gain popularity in parts of Europe. This technology can be used to reduce the reliance on natural gas in areas where groundwater is easily obtained. Thermal Energy has a small footprint and can be easily adapted to address the needs of a particular application.