A 200,000-square-foot cold storage facility located in the Midwest was experiencing significant frost heave due to 20 feet of frozen ground. When common solutions have involved facility shut-down to replace and repair the flooring system, Net Zero Alliance (NZA), West Des Moines, Iowa, knew there was a better way.

A first-of-its-kind solution
About 2,000,000 BTUH of wasted heat from the facility's ammonia system is piped through horizontal geothermal bores underneath the facility.  

The facility already experienced wasted, unused heat from the ammonia system. That’s why NZA installed boring horizontal geothermal wells, which don’t require the facility to be shut down. The geothermal system can also supply heat to office areas and reduces energy expenses related to the cooling tower.  

It's estimated that the cold storage facility saved between $30,000-$50,000 a year due to reduced cooling tower fan usage and increased efficiency of the ammonia compressor. When compared to typical frost heave solutions, $410,000 is saved a year by avoiding an electric coil or electric boiler for defrost, which is the equivalent of using 5,134,818 KWH per year in electricity, or $410,000 in annual energy costs.

“NZA brought a turnkey solution that allowed us to keep operating while solving our defrost problem. An added bonus is that we’re actually saving on energy costs because of this solution.”
—facility maintenance director at the Midwestern cold storage company