Geo-exchange technology: The solution to zero carbon heating and cooling?

Geo-exchange technology: The solution to zero carbon heating and cooling?

Following extensive research and development, the benefits of Erda Energy’s unique geo-exchange technology have been proven in a four-year deployment with a UK food retail giant. Deployed at 25 stores nationwide, savings totalled 28,000 tonnes of carbon, and 160GWh of energy usage, in a solution that could potentially transform energy and carbon performance as we know it.

A new licensing deal between Erda Energy and Black Mountain will see smart, renewable heat and cooling marketed to corporate customers across the UK. The companies will work together to enable businesses to make a step change in the cost, carbon and energy associated with heating and cooling

In a 2018 heat decarbonisation study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change, electrification, or a hybrid route – both of which include the use of heat pumps like geo-exchange, were concluded to be the pathways with the “greater potential to reduce emissions to close to zero at a reasonable cost.”

The concept is relatively simple: the solution – Geo-exchange, which captures waste energy from cooling and stores it in the earth for later use as heat. In doing so it reduces the energy requirements across both processes and can remove the need for gas.

Geo-exchange works by integrating heat and cooling systems with a space efficient borehole array (less than 10% of the space required by a traditional ground source heat solution). Once installed, the ground array is simply a closed-loop fluid circulation system transferring energy to where it’s needed or storing it in the earth for later. Capability which offers widespread potential in both heating and cooling, including the opportunity to balance energy across multiple buildings or to add capability to heat networks.

Kevin Stickney, managing director of Erda Energy said, “The UK is waking up to the opportunities for decarbonising heat, and as policy catches up, businesses will increasingly look for the most cutting-edge solutions to decarbonise energy. Geo-exchange not only fits this bill, but could also stimulate skilled jobs through growth in the British supply chain.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Black Mountain on this technology licence, and look forward to witnessing the substantial reductions their team can make for energy and carbon conscious businesses.”

The Black Mountain team has collectively project managed £1.9 billion in utility scale renewable assets across Europe and will harness this expertise to deploy decentralised electricity, heat and cooling solutions to commercial customers across the UK.

Roger Woods, managing director of Black Mountain said, “We’re on a mission to help customers achieve their zero carbon energy goals. When we looked at the options on the market to complement our zero carbon electricity solutions, Erda Energy’s geo-exchange technology stood out as the best way to deliver zero carbon heating and cooling. We saw what the technology had done for existing customers and could immediately see the huge opportunities for us take it to new markets.

“This licensing deal allows us to bring two core offerings together, and provide a whole site solution for transforming energy and carbon performance.”