Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Geothermal heating and cooling

While the archaelogical record shows that the first use of geothermal heat in North America dates back more than 10,000 years, our geothermal system is a little more sophisticated than soaking in hot springs. Our system relies on a ground-source heat pump, first developed in 1948 at Ohio State University.

The system in the Moorhead Environmental Complex is actually the second geothermal system the Stroud Center has installed. We moved away from burning heating oil as our primary heat source in 1996 when the last expansion of our campus occurred. With the addition of the new building we installed a new ground loop and tied the new system into the older one.

Of course, the geothermal system doesn’t just heat our building — it also taps the constant temperature of the earth to cool us in the warmer months.

The result: MUCH lower utility bills and a much smaller carbon footprint compared to heating with fossil fuels. Which leaves us feeling good about our campus and frees up resources for our mission: to advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water.

Sources: A History of Geothermal Energy in the United States