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What It Is: Geothermal In Action

Cameron High School - Cameron, Missouri

Dr. John Vanderford, Superintendent, Cameron, Missouri:

"We again considered the ground source heat pump because of the cost of installation was competitive with the boiler-chiller type system. The comfort and controllability of the system was unique in that we could control the atmosphere in each one of the rooms and the ambient temperatures.

"The appearance was a factor because we could do away with roof top units and the maintenance inherent to those type units. And the low maintenance was a consideration. The system that we have adapts itself very well to the modern computerized control systems.

"We are able to control the ambient temperature for each room and program each room individually for up to three years in advance. This gives us a lot of control over scheduling of the school which is used by community groups as well as the high school. And we can virtually set the operation of the school up for the year based upon the school calendar each fall when we begin school.

"The comfort factor is probable the biggest advantage of this system. This building has 62,000 square feet and on any given day or any given time, the temperature will not vary over one or two degrees from the one end to the other unless it's set that way.

"The cost of operation so far has been very pleasing. Compared to a similar building in our district that has a boiler-fired furnace, this school operated for $900 a month at the same time the other building was consuming $3,600 worth of natural gas.

"Service has been easy to attain and parts are readily available if and when that situation arises, and that is another reason we did decide to go with this system. It is pretty common technology that most service people that work with air conditioning and heating can service. We do not have to call a boiler specialist or someone out of the city. It can be serviced locally by our refrigeration people."

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