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One of a kind installation for geothermal research

Earthnet Geothermal and Vital Engineering have partnered with Lakeland College in the design and installation of a vertical borehole geothermal system at the college’s Renewable Energy Learning Centre. The geothermal design consists of six boreholes, each installed with variations on grout type, pipe type, and number of down hole loops.

house showing geothermalLakeland’s research team has finished the first stage of thermal conductivity tests on each borehole to determine performance characteristics. Experimentation will continue over the next few years and includes testing the performance of the geothermal field as a heat store for excess solar thermal energy collected in the summer.

“Lakeland’s geothermal reference field is groundbreaking for the geothermal industry in Canada. The embedded sensor system and flexibility to isolate boreholes is going to provide incredibly valuable information to advance borehole performance and national and international geothermal design standards,” says Dean Turgeon, president and CEO of Vital Engineering and past president, Alberta Geothermal Energy Association.

Lakeland is currently in year 3 of a 5 year NSERC CCI Innovation Enhancement grant that is focused on exploring the best ways to monitor and control combinations of renewable energy technologies in rural residential and agricultural applications. The college’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation’s energy research includes solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, small wind turbines, both gas and electric geothermal heat pumps, biomass gasification and biomass pyrolysis (biochar) production technologies. The college has applied their prototype integrated monitoring and control system in three public applications with a fourth private installation coming online in spring 2013.

For more information about the project, contact Sean McInroy at sean.mcinroy@lakelandcollege.ca.
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