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SSC funds Energy Shaft at the Energy Farm

Posted by Cathy Liebowitz on February 20, 2019

This student-led project will involve the design, construction, and installation of an energy geo-structure for heating the UIUC Energy Farm, located near the southeast corner of Race Street and Curtis Road on the South Farms. This project has great potential in exploring and utilizing geothermal energy, a renewable energy alternative to fossil fuels. An energy shaft is a new technology designed to access the shallow geothermal energy (relatively constant ground temperature in the upper 30 m of the subsurface). The objective of the project is to determine the feasibility of using drilled shafts that are already being used to support structures on campus also as a geothermal heat-exchange element. Geothermal heat exchangers (closed absorber pipes) can be incorporated into underground infrastructure, e.g., drilled shafts, through which water is circulated to withdraw shallow geothermal heat (~55 °F) and transport it to the surface for structure heating or cooling.