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Borehole Thermal Energy Storage System

Model of the Borehole Thermal Energy System at UOIT

Located in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada’s newest university is undergoing one of the largest expansion projects in the province. Amidst the hub of all the construction activities lies the infrastructure for one of the largest geothermal well fields in North America. The geothermal well field is the central component in the borehole thermal energy storage system. Drilling was completed in November 2003 and involved three rigs, each drilling one hole per day over a span of over 100 days.

Three hundred and eighty-four holes, each 213 metres (700 feet) deep, provide the basis for a highly efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling system, capable of regulating the North Oshawa campus buildings at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

A glycol solution, encased in polyethylene tubing, circulates through an interconnected, underground network. During the winter, fluid circulating through tubing extended into the wells collects heat from the earth and carries it into the buildings. The system reverses in the summer to pull heat from the building and place it in the ground.

The geothermal site provides the distinct opportunity for use by the university’s engineering faculty as an invaluable research lab. The facility not only helps to significantly reduce energy consumption, but can also provide extensive research opportunities and enhance the educational experience for students in energy-related programs.

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