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Is Ground Water a Viable Energy Source?

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A discussion on the Christchurch Earthquakes, bore holes and ground water energy systems – Thursday 8th June
 
New Zealand or the Shaky isles, as they are known, are subjected to more than 15,000 earthquakes each year, however only about 150 are large enough to be felt.  Designing buildings and services with seismic activity can be a challenge.  But the CIBSE Christchurch Chapter tackled this issue head on to ascertain the perplexities involved with utilising the geothermal conditions with bore holes and ground water energy systems.
 
26 eager delegates attended this workshop to hear from guest presenters, Heath Turnbull, Associate at Aurecon and Ian Haycock, Group Manager / Director at McMillian.  They explained how ground source heat pumps have gained popularity as an efficient means to heat and cool buildings and for integration into district energy schemes.


 
However, this has also led to many clients now requesting ground source energy systems for their projects and going through the consent requirements of the regulatory bodies.
 
While this is a great progress towards low energy design, the increased number of boreholes, the interference between them and the resilience to earthquakes have become important questions for the Building Industry.

 

CIBSE Christchurch Chair, Stefano Ciciani in summary thanked the speakers for “a rare opportunity to understand the unique perspective on bore holes and related energy systems.  Hearing from Heath and Ian discuss their experiences and share the lessons, through sample case studies in relation to seismic activity was extremely informative and interesting”.
 
The seminar came to a conclusion after networking drinks.  The CIBSE Christchurch Chapter would like to thank our impeccable hosts, Aurecon for hosting the evening.