Geothermal Hotel Design

In addition to the many construction and philanthropic projects that Mr. Schneider brought to the City of Louisville, he also constructed the largest geothermal heating and cooling system in the United States at the Waterfront and Riverfront Office Towers and the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. The system extracts 2,800 gallons of ground water per minute to condition roughly 1.7M square feet of space, allowing for heating and cooling at the same time for a fraction of the cost. Competitive with wind power and significantly cheaper than solar, geothermal costs between four and seven centers per kilowatt hour.

What is a GeoExchange System?

Geothermal energy is a byproduct of the Earth's natural heat. Mr. Schneider’s system captures that energy, processes it through heat exchanges and water source heat pumps. This results in energy for heating/cooling individual rooms and meeting spaces throughout the Galt House Hotel and office towers.

How does it work?

Ground water (58°F) is pumped into a 140,000 gallon reservoir which is circulated through a plate/frame heat exchanger separating the ground water from closed loop circulation systems in the buildings. The closed loops are connected to water source heat pumps which will absorb or reject heat depending upon the requirements called for heat or cooling.
On a full fuel cycle basis, GeoExchange systems also provide the lowest CO2 emissions, resulting in minimum greenhouse warming impact. Overall, the EPA found GeoExchange heating and cooling systems to have the lowest environmental cost of all technologies analyzed (including air-source heat pumps and natural gas furnaces).

The Other Benefits

  • Lower utility costs by $360K per year based upon a savings of 5.6M kilowatts per year.
  • LG&E reports significant annual emission reductions at their power plants due to reduced usage.
  • Lower operational maintenance costs.
  • Durable lifespan.
  • Simultaneous heating and cooling
Design & Development