Long-Term Performance of an Air-Conditioning System Based on Seasonal Aquifer Chill Energy Storage 929049

A nominal 520 kW (thermal) air-conditioning system based on the seasonal storage of cold water in an aquifer has cooled a University of Alabama building since 1983. During cold weather, ambient, 18° C water is pumped from warm supply wells, chilled to about 6° C in a cooling tower, and reinjected into separate cold storage wells. In warm weather, water is withdrawn from the cold wells and pumped through building heat exchangers for air conditioning. Presented here are results of 6 years of study [sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy through Pacific Northwest Laboratory] of the first successful U.S. application of this technology. This system yields high energy efficiency, with measured annual average COP of about 5 (SEER = 17 Btu/Wh), and energy recovery efficiency ranging from 40 to 85%, shifts utility loads from summer to winter, and no chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) release.


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