Geothermal tests underway in Wallan

DirectEnergy Australia workers conduct tests at Crystal Group’s Wallan South property on Friday.

PROPERTY developer Crystal Group has begun the introduction of renewable geothermal energy to the Mitchell Shire, with tests taking place in Wallan this month.

Tests have been conducted at Wellington Square Shopping Centre, Wallan, and a Taylors Lane property to assess the feasibility of utilising the technology for heating and cooling.

Geothermal energy experts DirectEnergy Australia are conducting the tests, with a thermal response test bore hold being dug at the Wallan South property on Friday.

The tests will determine how much heat can be rejected into the ground to cool homes in summer and how much heat can be extracted to heat homes in winter.

Aerial footage of a geothermal testing site at Wallan.

DirectEnergy Australia managing director Marcus Wearing-Smith said geothermal energy was one of the most energy efficient methods of heating and cooling and could be used for air conditioning, hot water services, hydronic floor heating, radiator panels and swimming pools.

“Geothermal is a huge component of what we do. It can pull down the energy offtake of houses, estates or buildings by around 50 per cent for cooling and heating,” he said.

“The heat goes into a heat pump, which is like an air-conditioning unit, but it doesn’t have a fan. These take that water out of the ground, go through a heat exchanger inside that unit which it produces your hot or your cold.

“You don’t have any air requirements, so these systems can be behind closed doors in your garage, they don’t need to be stuck on the outside of your home.”

Should the tests be successful, plastic pipe would be inserted into a series of bore holes, creating a closed loop of condensing water, which is then kept at suitable temperatures for heating or cooling requirements.

Crystal Group plans to use the technology in its 6500-home Wallan South development, St Hilaire, which is the largest land holding in the fast-tracked Wallan South Precinct Structure Plan and is expected to break ground by the end of the year.

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