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Front Page » February 21, 2008 » Local News » Sunnyside discusses geothermal heating
Published 2,791 days ago

Sunnyside discusses geothermal heating

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Sun Advocate community editor

Doug Parsons and Sheri Madrid discuss the possibility of using geothermal heat in a coming project.

Carbon County has found another way to make use of what is deep under the ground. But the use doesn't involve coal.

During Tuesday's regularly scheduled city council meeting, Sunnyside officials discussed the possibility of using geothermal pumps to heat and cool the new public safety building.

"We toured the new department of natural resources building the other day and were impressed by the geothermal system they were using," said Sunnyside Councilmember Sheri Madrid. "I think it would be worthwhile to investigate the possibility of using that technology in our new building."

Sunnyside and East Carbon City are nearly ready to put the construction of the joint public safety building to bid after nearly two years of planning and seeking funding for the project.

"There are a lot of cost savings associated with using this technology," said Madrid. "I think it would be wonderful for both cities if we could use something that was cost effective and better for the environment."

Sunnyside's safety building boardmembers in attendance at the council meeting concurred with Madrid and assured her they would bring up the possibility at their next meeting.

Geothermal heating has been used since the time of the Romans to heat structures above ground.

However, in recent years, the term geothermal has been used to describe the heating and cooling that can be achieved through the use of a geothermal heat pump.

According to the federal Energy Star program's website, "Geothermal heat pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps but use the ground instead of outside air to provide heating, air conditioning and in most cases hot water. Because they use the earth's natural heat they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies currently available."

The pump or system operates on the earth's ability to store heat in the ground.

The earth, just a few feet below the surface, has a very stable temperature throughout the entire year, typically about 50 to 85 degrees, depending on the locations annual climate.

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