Wal-Mart Burlington Horizontal Geo-exchange Design
The city of Burlington required Wal-Mart to build an energy efficient store if they were to be permitted to build in their city. After investigating traditional vertical borefield designs, which had pay backs in excess of 20 years, Mr. Bererton proposed an innovative horizontal geo-exchange design.
“The project represents the first known global geo-exchange installation using SpiderPlow technology. Traditionally the SpiderPlow has been used almost exclusively for oil and gas applications.”Canadian Consulting Engineer
Conventional trenched horizontal fields or vertical boreholes would have taken months to install. Instead, Mr. Bererton transferred a technology traditionally used in pipeline and fiber optic installations. A Spiderplow was able to install 15 km of geo-exchange piping in only 5 days. This yielded a 70% cost reduction in the geofield over the conventional designs. This was the first ever utilization of the Spiderplow technology in a geo-exchange application highlighting the ingenuity added to the project by Mr. Bererton.
Integrating the geo-exchange energy source was only the beginning of the design. A radiant mat system was used to efficiently heat and cool the space while heat was recovered from the refrigeration cases. To manage the complex interactions, the building was modeled extensively using TRNSYS simulation software. This guided the final design to proven energy reductions of 57% compared to standard Wal-Mart buildings.