• Geothermal Well field Geothermal Well field
  • View of South Oval geothermal wells View of South Oval geothermal wells

Geothermal Well Systems

The Ohio State University is embarking on a new way to heat and cool the residence halls by implementing geothermal systems. This system will be utilized at the South High Rises along 11th Avenue and at the new William Hall Complex on 10th Avenue.

This work reached a major milestone in late January 2013 when crews completed the drilling for all 264 Geothermal Wells in the South Oval. Efforts are now focused on horizontal connections for the wells, which along with testing, is the last major phase. The project is on track to return the South Oval to use during fall semester, although this is weather dependent.

The full geothermal well system includes 411 wells drilled to a depth of 550 feet in the South Oval and near Hale Hall. These will serve the South High Rise residence halls. There are an additional 50 wells drilled to a depth of 500 feet south of the 11th Avenue Parking Garage that serve the new William Hall Complex. The wells are undectectable now that construction is complete, but they will reduce the University's energy consumption dramatically over the life of the buildings. It is estimated that an average of 31% of the heating and cooling demands of the south district residence halls will be provided by these geothermal wells. While the disruptions to the area are tough to endure now, the payback over the next decades will benefit the University as a whole and will reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. (See additional information in the article "OSU Residence Halls-Reducing Dependency on Fossil Fuels")