10.05.2010

DIGGING DEEP FOR SMARTER HEAT

Excerpted from TIME:

"Great big stores cost a fortune to heat and leave a huge carbon footprint, so both economic and environmental self-interest argues for innovations.

"Walmart has put windmills in a few of its parking lots; Target has plants on some of its roofs, to harvest rainwater and cool the stores in summer.

"Now IKEA, the world's favorite Swedish home furnisher, is trying to give America a gentle shove into using renewable resources. It is working with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to use underground heat to manage temperatures inside its new 415,000-sq.ft. retail store near Denver, scheduled to open next year.

"Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the fact that while the earth's surface temperature can sizzle in summer and plunge in winter, underground things stay nice and moderate - generally 45 degrees F to 75 degrees F. In Colorado, IKEA will drill 130 holes to a depth of 500 ft, beneath the building's parking garage, and install pipes that send liquid down to capture that perfect temperature and run it back up to a heat pump. The pump can then cool in-store air or heat it, depending on the season. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, systems using geothermal heat pumps... can reduce energy consumption and emissions by up to 72% compared with electric resistance heating and standard air conditioning....

The company takes its environmental responsibility seriously.... IKEA already used geothermal heat pump systems in other contries, and it's considering making the system's plans pulic to encourage other retailers in the U.S. and elsewhere to think about doing the same...."

1 comment:

Collins said...

Some good point written.
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