The objective of this demonstration is to increase awareness and implementation of the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) demonstrated Underground Thermal Energy Storage (UTES) technology. This is accomplished through educational efforts and tools including seminars, webinars, websites, videos, guidelines, newsletters, one-page fact sheets, and Whole Building Design Guidelines (WBDG)/Unified Facilities Guide Specifications-Criteria (UFGS/UFC) updates. The profession-specific, on-demand webinars, will be hosted for a minimum of two years on the National Institute of Building Science’s (NIBS) Whole Building Design Guide website (www.wbdg.org) and will allow participants to be tested at the end of each Learning Module and receive Professional Development Hour (PDH) Certificates and Credits like AIA’s Learning Units (HSW LUs) for their specific profession. This project aims to deliver accurate, fact based user-relevant UTES information, disseminated through multiple channels by enthusiastic presenters and relevant media, to DoD personnel and eventually to markets beyond the Federal sector.

Technology Description

Two different forms of UTES, namely the closed-loop version named Borehole Thermal Energy Storage (BTES) and the open-loop form, named Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) have previously been successfully demonstrated by ESTCP. BTES and ATES were each demonstrated in conjunction with water-to-water, and water-to-air GHPs respectively. BTES and ATES can also be coupled with other HVAC and non-HVAC technologies such as solar thermal collectors, Combined Heat & Power (CHP) systems, and more. These architectures of ground coupling a building to its local geology are more efficient, and typically less costly, than conventional (US) versions of closed and open-loop GHP as they are reversible and the former features concentric thermal zones and a Groundloop Heat Exchanger (GHX) engineered and modeled explicitly for thermal storage purposes.


These previously demonstrated ATES/BTES systems reduced existing building (HVAC) energy consumption by approximately 50% and reduced building water consumption by millions of gallons per year. This project intends to educate and equip the DoD sector (and the public) with the information/tools needed to implement these technologies on a broader scale through technology transfer efforts. Sometimes, the technologies embedded in successful ESTCP projects struggle to reach the marketplace and/or get implemented broadly and thereby don’t live up to their potential to broadly impact DoD’s overall level of energy and water consumption. This demonstration, through comprehensive and exciting Technology Transfer efforts, will take the known “architectures” of conventional closed and open-loop ground sourced HVAC, and create new enthusiasm for its deployment in its more cost effective/efficient form of UTES, both as closed loop BTES and open-loop ATES.