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Coal-fired boilers will go cold in days as Ball State continues conversion to geothermal

Coal-fired boilers will go cold in days as Ball State continues conversion to geothermal
Nearly 70 years after Ball State University installed its four coal-fired boilers, school employees are shoveling in the last few lumps of coal. In just a few days, the boilers will go cold as the university embraces renewable energy with world’s largest district closed geothermal energy system.
Jim Lowe, director of engineering, construction and operations, will be there to watch the historic event. He’s overseen the $80 million geothermal project — consisting of 3,600 boreholes to the system that heats and cools 47 buildings on campus — since the first hole was drilled in 2009.
“It has been incredible to witness the progress over the last few years,” Lowe says. “I think we’ll realize the full extent of the changeover from consuming about 36,000 tons of coal a year to renewable energy when the two smoke stacks come down in 2015.”
The work to be completed includes finishing the system’s south borehole field, modifications to the South District Energy Station to accommodate the two new 2,500-ton heat-pump chillers, hot and chilled water distribution looping, and modification of the remaining buildings (predominately on the south side of campus) to accept the geothermal connections.
Lowe notes that when the system is complete next year, the shift from fossil fuels to a renewable energy source will reduce the university’s carbon footprint by nearly half while saving $2 million a year in operating costs.
The Earth’s ability to maintain a constant temperature supports the thermodynamic principle for the geothermal system’s operation. A ground source heat pump coupled with a vertical closed loop piping system uses the Earth as either a heat source, when operating in heating mode, or a heat sink, when operating in cooling mode.
Phase 1 was completed in 2012. It consisted of two borehole fields, construction of the North District Energy Station and connecting buildings on the northern part of campus to the new distribution system.
“When costs began to escalate for the installation of a new fossil fuel burning boiler, the university began to evaluate other renewable energy options,” Lowe says. “This led to the decision to convert the campus to a more efficient geothermal-based heating and cooling system.”
Federal and state officials have endorsed Ball State’s foray into renewable energy. The U.S. Department of Energy provided a grant of $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Indiana General Assembly authorized nearly $45 million in state capital funding for the first phase. In 2013, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a $30 million cash appropriation for the second phase.
The project has caught the attention of universities and communities across the nation. Lowe is sharing information about the university’s new operation with others who want learn how they, too, can benefit from a geothermal system.
“The geothermal project provides research opportunities for faculty, and by creating a sustainable university, we can provide a learning environment for students,” Lowe says. “This project further demonstrates that we practice what we teach.”
Contact information
Jim Lowe may be reached at 765-285-2805 or jlowe@bsu.edu.
Thanks,
Marc Ransford
media relations manager
Ball State University
Muncie, Ind .47306
765-285-1570
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[Self Reliance in Troubled Times] Canning your food for the off-season

The folks at Ball, the makers of canning jars and other products, made available a ton of good info on putting away food for non-growing season. Although they left that business in ’93, it is maintained at http://www.homecanning.com

We still have our Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and it’s a valuable reference.


Posted by Steve Spence to Self Reliance in Troubled Times at 7/29/2006 07:53:00 PM

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Canning your food for the off-season

The folks at Ball, the makers of canning jars and other products, made available a ton of good info on putting away food for non-growing season. Although they left that business in ’93, it is maintained at http://www.homecanning.com

We still have our Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and it’s a valuable reference.

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January 2006 ESSN, 1 year anniversary edition is up!

The January issue of ESSN is live, and it’s a good one. Go check it out. You might have time to read it before the Ball drops tonight in Times Square. It’s been a busy year for us at Green-Trust, and we were happy to share our experiences with you, and grateful for your feedback.

A friend of ours put it well:

Steve,

Well here we are again — another assemblage
of 365 days draws to a close.

A year both like unto, and unlike from, those
that preceded it: times of ups and downs, highs
and lows, some sorrows and some joys. With various
‘learnings’ and changes along the way — some endured,
some dreaded, some sought and some relished.

And through it all, family and friends — some old
and perhaps some new ones — to share the joys and
laughter, and ease the burdens.

May 2006 be a time for you of more joys and growth,
of experiences and achievements to cherish, and, above
all, a year to remember fondly when the time comes
that it too passes into history and the years that
follow it then have their opportunity at imprinting
themselves on, and hopefully enriching your life.

All the very best wishes are sent that you and
your family have a marvelous, enjoyable,
and prosperous year.

jim

See you all again in 2006, it’s been a great year, thanks for reading us.

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