Friday, February 27, 2009

Interesting new commercial building project in Tucson

I stumbled across this article in a local paper here in Tucson and found it pretty surprising. Using heat exchange wells for heating and cooling buildings is not that new and I believe they are fairly common back east, but I hadn't heard of it around here before now. The most likely reason is that it's a long way to groundwater in these parts. The systems don't rely on groundwater being present to permit the heat transfer process to occur (I think ... this is a bit out of my expertise but the Wikipedia page linked above gives a good overview) but it seems like water is a better heat transfer medium than clay, sand, and gravel, which make up our local aquifers.

Nonetheless, I think it's great to see projects involving this kind of innovative thinking occurring in our community. Hopefully by the time they are done building it the economy will be in recovery and the project will easily lease out. Also, because they are simply evaluating the feasibility of the geothermal aspect of the project at this point, it will turn out to be a workable solution at this location.

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