News On 6 New Building Will Use Geothermal Energy System

Wednesday, April 4th 2012, 6:46 pm

Griffin Communications, the company that owns News On 6, is making progress in our new media center in the Brady District.

They finished another step Wednesday that will help us be a little greener.

A big building requires a big air conditioner - for this one - the equivalent of 110 tons of capacity. An improved technology is going into News On 6 building that's going to save a lot of energy.

A drilling rig is finishing up work on the last of 32 wells in what will be the parking lot of News On 6. Each one is 500 feet deep - and they're the geo-thermal backbone of the most efficient heating and cooling system available.

"Over the long haul that type of savings is going to pay for itself in 5 to 7 years," Lane Lawless said.

It's an expensive installation - about twice the cost of traditional heating and air - because of all the wells. These pipes will carry water down into the rock formation underneath downtown.

It's always 64 degrees in the bedrock - which can absorb heat from the building - and return cool water to the surface.

"We're exchanging heat with an environment that 64 degrees instead of trying to eject heat into the atmosphere when it's 105 outside," Lawless said.

The water is pumped into the building into heat exchangers overhead. From there is works much like a traditional air conditioner - just at half the cost.

The new building is substantially larger - but will use much less energy than the current home of Griffin Communications in Tulsa.

Work is on schedule for employees to start moving in at the end of the year. And the view out the front of the new building - overlooks another energy project across the street.

A new park is on top of a field of geo-thermal wells with 600 tons of cooling capacity for the Brady Arts buildings. It's one of the largest and promises to be one of the most efficient geo thermal installations ever in Tulsa.

"With the technology that's available, yes, this is about as efficient as you're going to get," Lawless said.

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