Geothermal research in Sydney suburb
A housing estate in the Sydney suburb of Blacktown is being equipped with geothermal heat pumps to tap into year-round subterranean temperatures of around 20 degrees. In the first of its kind development, the Fairwater housing community will also play a major role in determining the feasibility of commercial-scale ground-source heat pumps.
Last month the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $500,000 in funding to Climate-KIC Australia to lead a three-year longitudinal study into the benefits of geothermal energy in the residential sector and in new housing estates.
The project aims to deliver a real-world demonstration of the potential of for geothermal energy to heat and cool households.
If successful it will help property developers to better understand and market the system, potentially seeing further housing developments implement geothermal technology.
Ground-sourced thermal energy helps to reduce energy consumption and cost as well as benefiting the network by lowering peak demand and the associated need to invest in expensive infrastructure.
Prior to each of the 800 houses being built In the Fairwater estate, a large hole, up to 90 metres deep, is drilled and piping is added along with connections to individual pumps that exchange heat between the ground and each home.
Did you know? The heat pump was invented by Lord Kelvin in 1852.