New insights for geothermal heat pump technology in Australian context

Published 06 Sep 2021

By Belinda Whelan, Director Strategic Projects, Climate-KIC Australia

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7 September 2021, Sydney –  With approximately six months remaining, the Fairwater Living Laboratory project is returning promising results about the use of ground source geothermal heat pumps in a residential setting.

The Fairwater Living Laboratory project was established in 2019 with the aim of assessing the performance of ground source geothermal heat pumps in the Australian context. A first in Australia, Frasers Property Group installed this technology into homes at their Fairwater development in Blacktown, NSW. Specifically, the study is testing whether the technology reduces local peak demand (especially during hot summer days), is commercially viable, reduces energy consumption/emissions, and reduces urban heat island impacts.

Key insights from the study to date have been summarised in this short video which was produced by Sevengen, who installed the ground source geothermal heat pump technology at Fairwater.

The researchers – from the University of Technology Sydney and Curtin University – have confirmed there are significant benefits to the network at times of peak demand and consumer savings in terms of electricity costs. The rich dataset has enabled the project team to acquire deep behavioural insight. A more comprehensive summary of results to date can be found here.

The researchers also recently released individualised household reports, showing energy usage patterns for the 40 study homes and tips for reducing energy consumption and/or using energy more efficiently.

Over the coming months, the project team will be sharing the findings with developers to allow them to consider this technology in future housing developments. The final report will be released in early 2022.

For more information about the project, contact Belinda Whelan, Director Strategic Projects, Climate-KIC Australia.

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