Newport High School Retrofit of Heating and Cooling Systems with Geothermal Heat Pumps and Lake Source Water Loop Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Newport High School Retrofit of Heating and Cooling Systems with Geothermal Heat Pumps and Lake Source Water Loop
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act – Geothermal Technologies Program: Ground Source Heat Pumps
Project Type / Topic 2 Topic Area 1: Technology Demonstration Projects
Project Description - The new Heat Pumps will be targeted to perform at very high efficiency with EER (energy efficiency ratios) of 22+/-. System capacity is planned at 536 tons.The existing boilers and chiller which are over 35 years old serving one half the campus have a very poor EER estimated at 4+/-. The other half of the campus is served by direct exchange air conditioning

combined with natural gas heaters installed in 1981, and with very poor EER estimated at 6+/-. - Remove unusable antiquated low efficiency existing equipment and systems from the campus heating and cooling system, but utilize ductwork, electrical distribution, etc. where feasible. - Improve the indoor air quality and lower the cost of cooling and heating the multiple historic buildings that make up the campus of Newport High School, including one on the National Register. - Monitor for 3 years the performance of the new systems compared to benchmarks from the existing system, and provide data to the public to promote adoption of Geothermal technology. - Provide jobs, and reduce requirements of funds for the capital budget of the School District, and thus give relief to taxpayers in this economically depressed rural region during a period of economic recession. - The Geothermal Installation Contractor is able to provide financing for a significant portion of project funding with payments that fall within the energy savings resulting from the new high efficiency heating and cooling systems.

State Arkansas
Objectives Install and commission state-of-the-art energy efficient heating and cooling systems using Geothermal Heat Pumps with a centralized energy management and control system. Install and commission a water loop for energy exchange in nearby Newport Lake, with supplemental cooling towers combined in a hybrid system.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Newport School District
Awardee Website
Partner 1 Building Design Services, Inc.
Partner 2 Geo-Energy Solutions

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000116
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,627,796.00
Awardee Cost Share $1,627,796.00
Total Project Cost $3,255,592.00

Principal Investigator(s) Mr. Barry Ferguson, Building Design Services, Inc.

Targets / Milestones - An audit of the buildings along with existing utility distribution, cooling and heating systems will be performed to confirm and optimize design concepts for the new Geothermal Heat Pump systems, and determine which portions of the existing systems will not feasibly be usable. The details of design for the water loop to Newport Lake and integration with cooling towers will be confirmed. The operational costs of the existing systems and existing air quality will be measured and documented in order to set benchmarks for comparing the performance of the new systems.

- Design plans and specifications will be completed and approved. Bids for equipment and contract services will be solicited, vetted, and orders placed. Permits, which are expected to be routine, will be obtained. - Water loop construction will begin, as well as any preparation for installation work at the site that does not unduly interfere with school activities. - When the school activity schedule permits the removal of existing equipment will begin, followed by the beginning of installation of new equipment, and the redistribution of electrical services for the new equipment. - Commissioning the new systems and training will be completed as needed so as not to unduly interfere with school activities. - The performance of the new systems will be monitored for a period of three years after commissioning. The centralized energy management and control system will supply operational data, and other data regarding utility usage, maintenance and other costs will be gathered and made available to the National Geothermal Data System.

Location of Project Newport, AR

Impacts Project will serve to popularize GHPs as a energy conservation measure in EPC-financed school retrofits.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs