The Victorian Coalition Government today announced a $1.6 million grant to support the University of Melbourne and its partners to demonstrate the efficiency of direct use geothermal for heating and cooling buildings.
Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien launched the new funding at Melbourne University today.
Mr O’Brien said the project would install direct geothermal heating and cooling systems into buildings that covered a range of different geological and climate conditions.
“The long term goal of the project is to develop direct geothermal into a commercial technology that will rival conventional systems to heat and cool buildings,” Mr O’Brien said.
A direct geothermal system uses a heat pump to draw heat from the earth near the surface to warm buildings in winter and reverses the process to cool buildings in summer.
The University of Melbourne will install direct geothermal heating and cooling systems into 30 to 40 different buildings across Victoria as part of the project, which will cost more than $3.8 million in total. Performance will be monitored and the subsequent data will be used to:
- educate building trades, industry and developers about the potential for direct geothermal heating and cooling systems to be installed during construction;
- develop design guidelines for efficient systems suited to Victorian conditions; and
- inform the development of an Australian Standard for the installation of direct geothermal.
“The Coalition supports investment in energy technology innovation to find improved and economic ways of providing energy to Victorian families and businesses with low or no greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr O’Brien said.
The Coalition Government provided an additional $41 million in funding for the Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS) as part of the 2010-11 Victorian Budget.