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Title: Case Study of The ARRA-Funded GSHP Demonstration at the Natural Sources Building, Montana Tech

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 26 ground source heat pump (GSHP) projects were competitively selected in 2009 to demonstrate the benefits of GSHP systems and innovative technologies for cost reduction and/or performance improvement. One of the selected demonstration projects was proposed by Montana Tech of the University of Montana for a 56,000 sq ft, newly constructed, on-campus research facility – the Natural Resources Building (NRB) located in Butte, Montana. This demonstrated GSHP system consists of a 50 ton water-to-water heat pump and a closed-loop ground heat exchanger with two redundant 7.5 hp constant-speed pumps to use water in the nearby flooded mines as a heat source or heat sink. It works in conjunction with the originally installed steam HX and an aircooled chiller to provide space heating and cooling. It is coupled with the existing hot water and chilled water piping in the building and operates in the heating or cooling mode based on the outdoor air temperature. The ground loop pumps operate in conjunction with the existing pumps in the building hot and chilled water loops for the operation of the heat pump unit. The goal of this demonstration project is to validate the technical andmore » economic feasibility of the demonstrated commercial-scale GSHP system in the region, and illustrate the feasibility of using mine waters as the heat sink and source for GSHP systems. Should the demonstration prove satisfactory and feasible, it will encourage similar GSHP applications using mine water, thus help save energy and reduce carbon emissions. The actual performance of the system is analyzed with available measured data for January through July 2014. The annual energy performance is predicted and compared with a baseline scenario, with the heating and cooling provided by the originally designed systems. The comparison is made in terms of energy savings, operating cost savings, cost-effectiveness, and environmental benefits. Finally, limitations in conducting the analysis are identified and recommendations for improvement in the control and operation of such systems are made.« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
BT0301000; CEBT002
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
GSHP Case Study