by Sharvari T.
The company that is working on Deep Run’s geothermal field is Easterday Well and Pump Inc.. The company has faced one problem so far. The challenge is that the company is facing so far is with mica rocks. A couple of the company’s steel casing pipes are running into mica rock that is blocking the holes 400 feet down. The construction workers are also using a bit that is hollow in the middle. The hollowness is forcing air in so that the little pieces of mica rock can be blown out. Even though they are using the bit, there are still big pieces of rock that are creating a block. They are using a third pipe to put grout material in, too. A year and a half ago, they dug a test hole to see whether they would face any problems. The test hole did not identify the mica rock, so the workers were unprepared for this. They are using bigger drills but, it will take longer to resolve this issue.
Throughout the span of two years, there is going to be renovation going on at DRES. In the soccer field, there is a geothermal family run business called Easterday Well and Pump Inc. that is drilling holes into the ground so they can install the new system for our school. A system is what type of energy source we have. The people in the soccer field are working to install a geothermal energy system. For geothermal systems there are thing called loop fields. Loop fields are how the pipes are set in the ground. There are two types of loop fields. There are two pipes that go right next to each other in the loop fields.Part of the geothermal energy process is having the pipes filled with a type of refrigerant to keep the water from freezing. The pipes are connected at the top to make circuits. The air is circulated through the school and then goes through the circuit. The fluids make the air either warmer or colder depending on what season it is. One of the pipes is in and the other pipe is out. The worker fuse the pipes together by heating the pipes to melting temperature then put the two pipes together. They are drilling 104 holes that are 600 ft. deep. Because our soccer field is not big enough for the horizontal loop field we have a vertical loop field. It is very rare that they have to drill 600 ft holes because most facilities do not need as much power as our school. There are many different branches involved in the installation of geothermal energy for our school. There are a total of 40 people working on this job but just a small group of people at a time.Our soccer field will be back to normal by next school year. We will never be able to notice that they drilled holes in our field.
Geothermal is a greek word. ‘Geo’ means earth, and ‘thermal’ means heat, which basically means taking the heat from the earth to control the temperature of man-made buildings. There is quite a history behind geothermal use. The first form of human use of this type of energy took place more than 10,000 years ago in North America by the Paleo-Indians. People took the heat from the water at hot springs and geysers and used it as heat. In 1830, the first commercial use of geothermal energy took place. Asa Thompson, charged one dollar per person to go into one out of the three spring-fed wooden tubs to take a bath. Homes and buildings were built near the hot springs to take advantage of the already-generated heat. In 1892, the world's first district heating system was created in Boise, Idaho. Within couple of years, the heating system was producing heat for over 200 homes and 40 downtown businesses. The first geothermal power plant was created in Larderello, Italy in 1904. Since then, the geothermal theory has advanced and been used in many places all around the world, including Deep Run Elementary!