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Comfort Zone Heating and Air | 6/5/2012
The Bakken isn`t the only part of the state that`s rockin` with drilling rigs. Locally, contractors are drilling some deep holes at the Weisz and Sons shop in north Bismarck. The company is one of many that`s upgrading to geothermal energy with some help from Randy Mathern of Comfort Zone Heating and air.
"We`re not really creating an energy or burning an energy, we`re transferring it. Hence the term heat pump," Mathern said.
The process certainly isn`t new, but in the past few years, more building owners have gotten on board with geothermal. Mathern has been installing the systems all over western North Dakota, and he says the basic mechanics of geothermal heating and cooling are quite simple.
"We`re pumping warm, solar-stored energy from the earth into the building and the reverse process happens in the summertime when we cool a building and the heat is rejected."
Mathern says the technology has improved to the point where they drill 200 feet down and use a closed loop system.
"We`re typically pumping anywhere from eight to 12 gallons a minute is really common for residential and we`ll take about ten degrees of temperature out of it, reject it back into the ground and the ground absorbs the heat again and the cycle is continued."
Mathern says geothermal is more common with new construction. However, energy savings have reached the point where many schools, government buildings, private homeowners and companies, such as Weisz and Sons, are making the switch when they remodel or add on to existing buildings.
"With the federal tax credits and the state tax credits, there`s a lot of incentive to look at it and with all of the new construction, our hands are becoming pretty full."
A clean energy source that`s cost effective in the long run.
Mathern says once contractors drill below eight feet, the underground temperature is normally between 40 and 50 degrees. Within the Bakken Formation, however, the temperature can reach up to 100 degrees.