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Thread: Ball State goes geothermal

  1. #1
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Hang on Sloopy...land

    Ball State goes geothermal

    Ball State University (many locals alma mater) has gone green. And they are doing it with geothermal, which is the future. If anyone is familiar - they removed the parking lot between Botsford / Swinford and Johnson (the Honors Dorms) and have put geothermal under it. They are in the process of putting the parking lots back on top of it.

    Not only does this make Ball State look good, but the article focuses on Purdue and how they are still using coal. Double whammy!


    Not every state institution seems so beholden to coal. As Purdue looks to pursue further coal-burning operations, Ball State has sought a greener alternative to fossil fuels. Indeed, its efforts to make the switch to geothermal energy have placed it at the vanguard of campuses nationwide.

    Yet, when Ball State first began looking at its options for replacing its boilers four to five years ago, engineers originally looked at the same so-called "clean coal" upgrades Purdue is pursuing now. "At the time, that's what was available," explained Jim Lowe, director of engineering, construction, and operations for Ball State.

    Original estimates for the reduced-emissions coal-based upgrade put the project at about $40 million. Ball State, being a state-funded university, submitted its request for appropriations to the state, and the state agreed.

    But as time progressed, it became clear that other universities were beginning to explore other, more eco-friendly alternatives. The University of Iowa, for example, had begun mixing biomass in with its coal as early as 2001, eventually converting one of its coal-fired boilers to burn oat hulls from the Quaker Oats facility in nearby Cedar Rapids.The University of Missouri had begun integrating biomass into its coal-burners– from wood chips to corn stover – in 1995. (Missouri announced recently it would have an all-biomass boiler online to replace one of its coal-fired boilers by 2012.) Ball State considered doing likewise, starting with a mix of fuels, and moving toward full alternative fuel use as time wore on.

    As importantly, perhaps, the price tag went up. What had originally looked like a roughly $40 million project for newer, more flexible coal boilers, shot up to about $65 million once all kinds of new emission control equipment were taken into consideration. Suddenly the financial incentives of a coal-based approach were a lot less significant when compared to other options – like geothermal.
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  2. #2
    Member blevy's avatar
    Jul 2010
    4 Corners
    Hooray for ground source heat pumps! Check out the Oregon Institute of Technology and Prof. John Lund for all kinds of campus uses of geothermal (snow melt, district heating, cooling, greenhouse crop production, etc).

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Blog entries


    So now in addition to a LOT OF HOT AIR, they will also have a LOT OF HOT WATER?

    The One ducks and runs from Ball State Grad's
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

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