Geothermal, ‘earth’s heat,’ is the basis for heating and cooling systems that are elegant and efficient in design and an energy source that is completely renewable. Pringle Creek Community (PCC) converted an old industrial well into a giant heating and cooling system.
As you may know, PCC sits upon a 32-acre property that once served as the maintenance grounds for the Fairview Training Center. Fairview, established in 1907, was Oregon’s state-run facility for people with developmental disabilities until the year 2000. Fairview Training Center had an extensive 670-acre property, part of which was powered through steam heat. The industrial well once used by the heating plant that formerly existed on our property when it was part of the Fairview Training Center, was repurposed into an innovative neighborhood heating and cooling system serving 77 home sites and commercial lots.
The earth itself is a passive solar element able to absorb and store the sun’s heat. The temperature of the earth just beneath the earth’s surface stays constant. A geothermal system simply uses this constant temperature to either extract heat from the earth when surface temperatures are cold, or to push heat out and into the system when it is hot outside. Our geothermal district loop is supplied with ground temperature water which is a constant 56 degrees year-round. Individual homes, and our community center, Painters Hall, access the district loop through individual heat pumps and extract heat or repel it (in cooling mode) using nothing more than a simple compressor, or heat exchange.
We’re happy to show you the system up close. Come on out to see and experience it for yourself!