A little-known school in Ahmedabad has joined a select group of structures, including US President George W Bush's ranch in Texas, to trap and use the earth's energy successfully to regulate temperature ine its library, the first attempt of its kind in India.
The Tripda Education Trust has fitted a geothermal system unit, using Chinese technology, in its school library for the last one year to successfully cool and heat the library premises in an eco-friendly manner.
"The idea behind installing a geothermal unit is that it both heats and cools in a non-polluting manner. It is cost effective and maintenance free," Archit Bhatt, principal of the Tripda Education Trust, told PTI.
Geothermal energy is the heat (thermal) derived from the earth (geo). It is the thermal energy contained in the rock and fluid that fills the fractures and pores within the rock in the earth's crust.
"The unit has been fitted in the library which is 580 sq ft and its results have been good for the past one year. The maintenance so far has been minimal," Minesh Patel, alumni of the school and owner of geo-clinic, who installed the country's first unit told PTI.
The GS system is also installed in the US President's ranch in Dallas, the Olympic stadium in China and the Brooklyn Children's Museum in New York.
The school management is impressed with the system's performance and are keen to cover the entire school premises if feasible.
Initially, the school was a bit hesitant to try out the system as it involved ground engineering for loop design, duct work and other issues concerning its fitting.
"We are very happy with the performance of the first unit in the library. The electricity consumption is lower by 25 per cent at the library and it is noiseless," the school principal added.
However as the entire system and each component has to be imported, the cost is a major factor for those eyeing to procure the geothermal system.
"The cost of the unit installed in the library is over Rs 1.5 lakh. Moreover, the import duty was also heavy. The only respite was that we got 80 per cent depreciation as it was an environmentally-friendly unit," the principal said.