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New England area building owners, municipalities, real estate developers and trustees, as well as educational institutions all have something in common: A locally available, sustainable, and efficient heating and cooling source just below their feet.
It’s called “geoenergy,” a form of shallow geothermal energy that can be used for thermal comfort throughout the year. This geothermal heating and cooling technique, can help measurably reduce CO2 emissions caused by conventional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
According to the World Economic Forum, 15 percent of global carbon emissions come from heating and cooling buildings. That’s approximately six gigatons of CO2 emissions annually or the equivalent impact of about 1.3 billion gasoline-powered cars.
New Englanders can help minimize this impact by using geoenergy for their buildings’ heating and cooling needs. They can also reduce their building operating costs as geoenergy solutions are far more energy efficient when compared with conventional HVAC systems.
Celsius Energy, a thermal comfort provider specializing in geoenergy solutions, is expanding its business in North America, including right here in Boston. The company’s solutions have decreased building CO2 emissions by as much as 90 percent and energy consumption by as much as 75 percent.
Its innovative subsurface design requires a fraction of the surface space when compared to other geothermal heating and cooling installations, making it ideal for existing buildings in Boston’s dense, urban areas.
All year round the soil temperature tens of feet below ground is constant. With Earth serving as a thermal battery, geoenergy installations use ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) to extract heat from the ground during cold weather and reverse this process during warmer months to provide virtually carbon-free thermal comfort to buildings.
GSHPs are highly efficient and environmentally friendly, as they are a fully electrified solution and significantly minimize reliance on fossil fuels to generate heating and cooling. Their low operating costs can also reduce energy bills for home and building owners. While the installation costs of a GSHP can be higher than other systems, the long-term energy savings, environmental benefits combined with green incentives, and advanced technologies make it a smart investment for many.
Celsius Energy was founded in 2019 from a grassroots entrepreneurship within SLB, a world leading technology provider for the energy industry.
In the face of climate change, three SLB employees committed themselves to developing a technology-driven solution that would have an impact on decarbonizing the planet. After identifying building heating and cooling as a key emissions source, further research convinced them of the great decarbonization potential of geoenergy. With this as their catalyst, the Celsius Energy concept came to life, and SLB founded Celsius Energy to bring the innovative solution to market.
The Celsius Energy solution replaces gas-based heating and energy intensive refrigeration units by using a GSHP to harness the constant temperature of the Earth for heating and cooling. This not only eliminates carbon emissions, but also removes the noise pollution and “heat island” effects of chillers which can negatively impact urban environments.
What sets the Celsius Energy solution apart is a unique pyramid-shaped well design, advanced ground characterization and modeling capabilities, a digital management and optimization system, and a turnkey approach. As a result, Celsius Energy can provide up to a 90 percent reduction in CO₂ emissions, a 75 percent reduction in overall energy consumption, and a 40 percent reduction in operating expenses.
Celsius Energy’s pyramid-shaped design locates the ground heat exchangers at a common surface position but extends them directionally in the subsurface. This results in a permanent surface allocation of less than two standard parking spaces — a 90 percent reduction in surface impact — as compared to traditional vertical geoenergy solutions. The small footprint preserves available real estate for future construction, enables simultaneous construction efforts and reduces piping material by up to 70 percent. Furthermore, this inventive technology allows interaction with Earth’s thermal battery under permanent surface structures like buildings, trees and roads, which was not previously accessible using conventional geoenergy solutions.
The company’s pioneering ground characterization and modeling capabilities allow distributed heat transfer measurements. This can provide an optimized system design that is cost effective and ensures thermal comfort for decades to come.
In response to the market demand for smart system control and optimization capabilities, Celsius Energy developed an industry leading digital management system including a digital twin of the installed geoenergy solution and a live monitoring dashboard. The digital management system helps further optimize the cost effectiveness of an installed geoenergy solution over its lifetime.
With turnkey capability, the company can design, implement, manage, and deliver complete geoenergy solutions to its clients. The end-to-end approach reduces the complexity, risks, and tendency to over-build that are often associated with multiparty coordination and ensures performance accountability throughout the project. The company’s innovative technology and approach leads to optimization as well as performance assurance.
Celsius Energy installed a 100 percent geoenergy solution at a 32,000-square-foot technical product center in Clamart, France in 2020. The installation took six months and did not disrupt day-to-day operations.
The installation yielded a 90 percent reduction in CO₂ emissions and a 40 percent reduction in operating costs. It has also reduced the total energy consumption at the product center by 74 percent compared to the previous HVAC solution.
In 2022, Celsius Energy installed a geoenergy solution for Groupement Optic 2000, a leading French eyewear brand. The solution currently provides heating and cooling for the company’s 130,000-square-foot office building and workshop and is expected to decrease the building’s CO2 emissions by 71 percent while reducing noise pollution.
Celsius Energy was recently awarded the largest geoenergy heating project in the history of France and one of the largest in all of Europe. This project — based in the country’s eastern region — will provide heating and cooling to dozens of buildings by combining geoenergy and waste heat from the world’s largest particle accelerator.
With geoenergy, it’s possible to decarbonize aggressively and with a tremendous economic incentive. Installing Celsius Energy’s geoenergy solutions brings financial benefits, including the allowance of green incentives.
According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) increases and extends the federal tax credit for geothermal heat pump projects, which can cover a significant portion of the system cost. State and local green incentives can further reduce the overall cost of system installation.
Celsius Energy also offers energy as a service to eliminate upfront cost of the installation, allowing monthly payments over a defined period for access to sustainable heating and cooling and operating cost reductions.
In April 2020, Celsius Energy received the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, as a member of the Solar Impulse World Alliance. The solution has also been recognized by the UN as one of the 50 most promising solutions for the future of climate worldwide.
With carbon reduction and energy affordability as ever-present concerns, geoenergy solutions provide a far better alternative to conventional HVAC solutions.
Celsius Energy is on a mission to deliver efficient and effective future-proof building heating and cooling solutions around the globe using sustainable energy right under our feet. Interested in the Celsius Energy solution for your building? For more information, visit http://www.celsiusenergy.com/en or contact them at [email protected].
Sponsored by Celsius Energy
Benefits of ground source heat pumps for heating and cooling