The authors propose a hybrid geothermal heat pump system that could cool buildings in summer and melt snow on the pedestrian sidewalks in winter, utilizing cold mine water and hot spring water. In the proposed system, mine water would be used as cold thermal energy storage, and the heat from the hot spring after its commercial use would be used to melt snow for a certain section of sidewalks. Neither of these sources is viable for direct use application of geothermal resources, however, they become contributing energy factors without producing any greenhouse gases. To assess the feasibility of the proposed system, a series of temperature measurements in the Edgar Mine (Colorado School of Mines’ experimental mine) in Idaho Springs, Colorado, were first conducted, and heat/mass transfer analyses of geothermal hot spring water was carried out. The result of the temperature measurements proved that the temperature of Edgar Mine would be low enough to store cold groundwater for use in summer. The heat loss of the hot spring water during its transportation was also calculated, and the heat requirement for snow melt was compared with the heat available from the hot spring water. It was concluded that the heat supply in the proposed usage of hot spring water was insufficient to melt the snow for the entire area that was initially proposed. This feasibility study should serve as an example of “local consumption of locally available energy”. If communities start harnessing economically viable local energy in a responsible manner, there will be a foundation upon which to build a sustainable community.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Economic Geology