Alternative Energy has landed on Liberty Island for the first time in history. The Liberty Island Retail Pavilion located on Liberty Island adjacent to the Statue of Liberty is in the process of installing geothermal energy for their heating and air-conditioning needs.
Anthony Ganio , President of Connecticut Wells, Inc. the well drilling Contractor for the island project said,” this is a very exciting project, although Geothermal has been around for quite some time , it has now become a major consideration for all commercial, retail, industrial and government owned projects. Geothermal applications are being used for new building projects as well as rehab and upgrading of heating and air conditioning systems. The Congress and Obama Administration have passed sweeping tax credits for geothermal in commercial and residential applications. Most states have followed suit as well with additional tax credits, in Connecticut grants are also available under the “Clean Energy Fund”, and these projects will save taxpayers millions of dollars in the long run and is a clean and efficient energy source. We are proud to be doing this job and hope others will follow suit.”
Connecticut Wells, inc. has emerged as one of the top Geothermal well drilling companies in the Northeast, with a concentration in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. On the Liberty Island project a unique “standing column well” was used drilling down 1,550 feet. The ground water beneath Lady Liberty will be pumped at a rate of roughly 120 gallons per minute into heat pumps within the new building. The Heat pumps will pull temperature from the 55 degree water and return cold water back to the earth. In the cooling months, the system will reverse meaning the heat in the building will be sent into the water being used and returned back to the earth.
Drilling on an island can pose many obstacles. One of which is just getting heavy trucks and equipment to the drill site. With the help of barges and tug boats, this was achieved. All of the equipment was loaded in the dark and shipped over to the island before 6:00 am in order to accommodate the public access to the grounds. Once there, the drill rig was set up and the drilling began on a 1550 foot deep 10 inch diameter geothermal well. The upper part of the bore consisted of 17 feet of sands and gravel and solid bedrock was encountered at 18 feet. 10 inch steel casing was installed to a depth of 80 feet to seal off the unconsolidated materials and cemented in place. Using an air percussion hammer, the bedrock was drilled in 9 7/8 inch diameter to a depth of 260 feet. The hole was advanced in 8 inch diameter to 1150 feet and 6 inch diameter to 1550.
Groundwater was encountered at depths ranging from 690 feet to 1330. To help keep the drilling rate up and the hole cleared of cuttings; an auxiliary compressor and Hurricane booster were used in addition to the air package mounted on the drill rig. From start to finish, the drilling of the well on Liberty Island took 5 working days. After the well was drilled, the tools were removed from the well bore and a 6 inch PVC Porter Shroud was installed to the bottom. This shroud acts as a separator between supply and return water within the well bore. A submersible pump was installed within the shroud and a return line installed along the outside. 120 gallons per minute of water travel from the building, down the well bore exchanging heat and enters the shroud through perforations at 1500 feet. It then flows up to the pump and circulates back to the building. This type of geothermal well is typical in commercial installations where a large system is present but the surface area will not allow for a larger well field. Most commercial systems will use a standing column well. Another option when choosing geothermal is a closed loop well system. This is similar to constructing a radiator in the earth below your home or school using closed loops in the wells. Which ever system suits your needs or if you’re unsure which system is right for your application, feel free to contact CT. Wells Inc. at 1-800-344-7989 or visit us on-line at connecticutwells.com.
“The good news for homeowners and normal commercial applications used for school projects, commercial buildings and retro fits of cooling and hearing systems is that you only have to drill about 500 ft. which is not very costly and economically feasible, especially with all the new incentives being offered. “ said Anthony Ganio.
Geothermal heating and cooling are a “green energy” which uses the earth as a heat source and absorbs and dispenses heat using thermal contact. A series of pipes, commonly called a “loop”, carry water that is used to connect the system’s geothermal heat pump to the earth.”Geothermal is a LEED Certified Renewable Energy Source” that will reduce greenhouse gas and there are no site emissions. According to the E.P.A. – Geothermal is the most energy efficient, environmentally clean, and cost effective space controlling system available.