The expansion project at HACC-Gettysburg Campus includes the installation of a geothermal HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system to provide heating and cooling within the newly renovated sections of the building. A geothermal system differs from a conventional furnace or boiler in its ability to transfer heat from the earth, versus the standard method of producing heat.
Although geothermal systems are usually more expensive to install than conventional HVAC systems, their greater efficiency means the investment can be recouped in two to seven years. After that, energy and maintenance costs are much less than for conventional heating and air-conditioning systems.
HACC is installing a geothermal heat pump system. Forty-nine 400 foot wells are being drilled at the rear of the campus building, and a closed loop system of vertical pipes will circulate fluid through the wells.
In winter, the circulating fluid will draw radiant heat stored in the earth. The geothermal system will remove this heat, compress it to a higher temperature, and distribute it through the building. In summer, the system will extract heat and humidity from the building and transfer it back to the cooler earth.
The HACC-Gettysburg expansion project incorporates adaptive reuse, energy conservation, and environmentally friendly building techniques. The new geothermal system is one illustration of an environmentally conscious and energy efficient feature of the renovated campus.