Jan22686 F eFbe2b22523386 9 Established more than 25 years ago by its namesake, Brad Donovan, Ground Source Systems specialises in heating systems, including farm heating and shed heating. Having spent a large amount of that time working with BP Solar (BP) in both off-grid and ongrid installation, Brad worked with BP to develop the grid connect system – that is on so many house roofs today – to be installed on the Sydney 2000 Olympic athlete village roofs. Always having had a passion for, and an involvement with, a cleaner living environment, Brad has worked with companies for the remediation of contaminated sites. He was always on the lookout for additional methods to produce a cleaner environment and so he became involved in the ground source heat pump industry, became an accredited water furnace installer, and also a member of the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association. The heating systems used and installed by Ground Source, which follow the concept of geothermal heating and cooling, are some of the most efficient on the market currently, capable of easily and efficiently heating farm buildings and sheds, whilst producing almost zero carbon emissions. These highly scalable units can even slash energy costs by up to 70% in some instances. So, what exactly is geothermal heating and cooling, and how does it work? Basically, geothermal heating and cooling involves the use of the constant heat (geothermal energy) that exists approximately 2-3 metres below ground for heating and cooling purposes. The temperature of the soil at this depth remains relatively constant at around 12°C to 18°C all year round. A geothermal heating and cooling system is designed to draw on this heat energy using a system of fluid-filled underground pipes called a ‘loop’. The loop absorbs the heat energy in the ground and carries it indoors to a heat pump. The heat pump compresses the heat to a higher temperature and distributes it throughout the shed. In summer, the system reverses, pulling heat from the shed and depositing it back into the ground via the same loop system. In addition to moving heat from one place to another, heat pumps boost the temperature from 12°C to over 38°C, with some commercial units even reaching 93°C if needed. The heat pump does this using a cycle of evaporation, compression, condensation, and expansion, and a refrigerant is used as the heat transfer medium which circulates within the heat pump. “This technology is highly scalable, meaning that systems are available to heat an average home all the way to large 11,000 square metre buildings,” explains Brad. “In fact, there are several examples in New South Wales where geothermal energy is being used quite effectively on a large commercial scale.” These examples include Lithgow Hospital, Macquarie University, Wagga Wagga Civic Centre, and many more throughout the rest of Australia, with a growing number of residential homes in rural locations also utilising these systems. “According to the US EPA, geothermal heating and cooling is the most energy efficient method of heating and cooling currently available,” Brad elaborates. The systems themselves are slightly more expensive to install and require a fair size of land in which to lay the horizontal poly pipes (loops) which are required to extract heat from the ground or to return heat to it during the cooling cycle. However, once up and running, they are incredibly efficient and, as sustainable living and saving energy goes, Brad can’t praise them enough! “At some point, the intensive livestock industry is going to have to strongly consider greener more efficient energy sources,” he enthuses. “Geothermal energy may very well become a very attractive option for new or expanding farms in the near future.” Recently, as recognition of the company’s dedication to a greener way of living, Ground Source Systems was named Best Farm Heating Solutions Provider 2023 for its work in poultry and livestock barns. Here’s to a greener future all round! Contact: Brad Donovan Company: Ground Source Systems Pty Ltd Web Address: groundsourcesystems.com.au/ Best Farm Heating Solutions Provider 2023 Feb23085 Ground Source Systems (Ground Source) is committed to a greener, more sustainable future, as well as reducing the cost of living for its clients. We find out more as we speak to company founder, Brad Donovan in the wake of the firm being named in the Australian Enterprise Awards 2023.