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East Boston gets a geothermally heated greenhouse

WBUR reports on the installation of Eastie Farms' new greenhouse - which, of course, was delayed a bit by a couple of illegally parked cars.

East Boston urban farm to go year-round with greenhouse heated by geothermal.


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I had no idea that geothermal was even possible in this area of the globe.

Anyone know why it isn't more widely used? I just assume it'd be cost prohibitive without Government financing.

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Like gas lines, it's expensive if you try to do it all yourself.

But as HEET has proposed, if there was a shared network of ground-based geothermal* underground under shared rights-of-way, it could be much more efficient than either gas or electric. Great podcast here.

(* It's not technically really geothermal, because the heat in the top 50ish feet of the crust is actually stored solar heat away from thermally active areas)

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"Geothermal" gets used to talk about a lot of things, from true geothermal seen in volcanically-active areas (Iceland, California) to ground source heat pumps to so-called "climate battery" greenhouse systems which is a sort of very simplified and low cost ground-source system.

I spent a decent chunk of time looking into the latter for a greenhouse out in western Mass and concluded that they're either vastly oversold or only work on a very small scale. Youtube is full of people showing their designs and building projects, but very few showing them working a year or two later.

More broadly, while I know of ground-source heat pump installations going back a few decades, air-source systems seem to be winning these days. While ground-source systems are theoretically more efficient, these comparisons tend to leave out little things like the electricity used for circulating the water. And there have also been pretty big efficiency gains in recent years in air-source systems versus what was available ten years ago, so the real-world COP advantage of ground-source systems is a lot smaller than it used to be.

Meanwhile the installation and maintenance costs for ground-source systems remains higher. The HEET thing you linked is interesting, but my gut says that you could take the money spent on that and spend it on more PV panels, batteries, and a better grid instead, and be ahead. But sure, give it a try in the real world.

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Trinity Church in Copley Square has geothermal heating. Here’s an article: https://www.popsci.com/gear-gadgets/article/2002-03/church-digs-deep/

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What a waste of time, space, and money. They dont produce that much, it will take 300 years to offset the carbon costs. Built a supermarket there and more affordable housing in the other empty lots.

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