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Title: Education & Collection Facility GSHP Demonstration Project

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) designed and implemented an innovative ground source heat pump (GSHP) system for heating and cooling its new Education and Collection Facility (ECF) building addition. The project goal was to successfully design and install an open-loop GSHP system that utilized water circulating within an underground municipal recycled (non-potable) water system as the heat sink/source as a demonstration project. The expected results were to significantly reduce traditional GSHP installation costs while increasing system efficiency, reduce building energy consumption, require significantly less area and capital to install, and be economically implemented wherever access to a recycled water system is available. The project added to the understanding of GSHP technology by implementing the first GSHP system in the United States utilizing a municipal recycled water system as a heat sink/source. The use of this fluid through a GSHP system has not been previously documented. This use application presents a new opportunity for local municipalities to develop and expand the use of underground municipal recycled (non-potable) water systems. The installation costs for this type of technology in the building structure would be a cost savings over traditional GSHP costs, provided the local municipal infrastructure was developed. Additionally,more » the GSHP system functions as a viable method of heat sink/source as the thermal characteristics of the fluid are generally consistent throughout the year and are efficiently exchanged through the GSHP system and its components. The use of the recycled water system reduces the area required for bore or loop fields; therefore, presenting an application for building structures that have little to no available land use or access. This GSHP application demonstrates the viability of underground municipal recycled (non-potable) water systems as technically achievable, environmentally supportive, and an efficient system.« less
  1. Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Contributing Orgs:
Denver Water; BCER Engineering; NORESCO; Geo-Energy Services
Country of Publication:
United States
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION Ground Source Heat Pump; Underground Municipal Recycled (Non-Potable) Water System; Heat Sink/Source; Geothermal; Building Heating and Cooling