Local Community Goes Green "Underground"

4 years 2 months 5 days ago October 01, 2012 Oct 1, 2012 Monday, October 01 2012 Monday, October 01, 2012 8:11:00 PM CDT in News
By: Karl Roskamp

COLUMBIA - What is a group of Columbia residents doing that 95 percent of Americans are not?

An intentional community dubbed Terra Nova, which prides itself on ecologically friendly living, found the answer under their feet. Terra Nova uses ground source heating to cover all their heating and cooling needs.

"We can keep the thermostat at any temperature we like year round," Terra Nova member Claire Garden said.

Ground source heating, unlike geothermal heating, does not rely on the Earth's core for heat; instead, it uses groundwater or soil to provide the heating and cooling. The process doesn't just provide heat and air conditioning; it does so efficiently.

"Ground source heat pumps statistically have been documented to probably be the most efficient investment you can make in terms of energy," O2 Geothermal partner Jim Oakley said, who installed ground source heating for his own home.

"Your largest loads in your house for energy usage are heating, air conditioning and heating water and a ground source heat pump can do all those things."

Heat pumps work because heat wants to travel from something that's warm to something that's cold. During installation, a contractor will drill horizontal or vertical loops into the ground. A vertical system, which is used by Garden and Terra Nova, is preferred when there isn't a lot of land to install the loops. The drilling will go 100 to 400 feet deep in a vertical system.

More land is required for workers to install a horizontal system, but it's installed at a shallower depth of five to ten feet and is more cost-effective.

Once installed, the loops are filled with a liquid such as water and ethanol. If the liquid is colder than the surrounding Earth, it will absorb the heat and use it to warm up the home it's serving. The system can be reversed to provide cooling.

Despite upfront costs that may deter potential buyers, ground sourcing heating holds up against the competition.

"A ground source heat pump is far more efficient than either an air heat pump or gas furnace," Garden said.

Even though air pumps are cheaper, they aren't as effective in the winter, according to Oakley. The air pumps have to exert more energy to convert freezing air into to heat while ground source heat pumps work when the Earth has temperatures between 55 to 57 degrees year round.

Using ground source heat pumps can also reduce dependence on gas and electricity that is normally used for heating and cooling. That would be the case for Garden and Terra Nova members, but their electric needs are already covered by their 38 solar panels.

"We're very much dedicated to getting green energy if we can and to being as energy efficient as we can," Garden said.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday he was restricting $51 million in Medicaid and other spending and making... More >>
26 minutes ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 1:57:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Police arrested Elisabeth Trumbower of Columbia Tuesday after she allegedly falsified and fullfilled multiple prescriptions for Adderall. ... More >>
40 minutes ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 1:43:00 PM CST in News
HARTVILLE (AP) — The state auditor says an audit shows new possible fraud by a former county collector who recently... More >>
1 hour ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 12:52:19 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man is hospitalized after being struck in the head with an ax by... More >>
2 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 11:54:13 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police in southwestern Missouri's Springfield say a man was shot and killed while trying to burglarize a... More >>
3 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:49:15 AM CST in News
WEBSTER GROVES (AP) — Officials at Webster University in suburban St. Louis say they have narrowed in on students responsible... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:13:19 AM CST in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing several charges after allegedly trying to grab a police officer's... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:06:25 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new high school in St. Louis County gives students with learning disabilities the opportunity to... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 10:01:36 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A woman whose pit bull was shot last year by a southwest Missouri police chief has agreed... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:58:51 AM CST in News
CHESTERFIELD (AP) — One of St. Louis County's largest cities is opposed to accepting the city of St. Louis into... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:46:07 AM CST in News
KENNETT (AP) — Missouri's biggest peach producer is suing Monsanto Co. over illegal herbicide users suspected of causing widespread crop... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:43:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas City police officer is unhurt after coming under fire while working an... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:28:51 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — One day after Ferguson residents heard an update on racial reform efforts in their community, a... More >>
4 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:26:25 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College is offering the public an opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a different way. A Dickens... More >>
11 hours ago December 07, 2016 Dec 7, 2016 Wednesday, December 07 2016 Wednesday, December 07, 2016 3:05:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Residents were updated Tuesday night on two upcoming construction projects in the northern part of the city. ... More >>
18 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 8:04:00 PM CST in News
FENTON (AP) — Police are investigating the deaths of a couple whose stabbed bodies were found in their home in... More >>
19 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 7:15:16 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — It will now cost businesses or individuals who block sidewalks, traffic or parking spots in the city. ... More >>
20 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:59:00 PM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY — Several mid-Missouri housing authorities will soon be changing their rules on smoking inside or near public housing.... More >>
20 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 5:55:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
3pm 34°
4pm 34°
5pm 32°
6pm 31°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Judge Alex
2:30p
Judge Alex
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Hairspray Live!
9:55p
To Be Announced
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Frequency
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld