Geothermal UW–Madison researcher James Tinjum's team installs geothermal-based heating and cooling systems on the EPIC Systems campus in Verona, WI (above). The collaboration allows Tinjum to study the performance of the geothermal systems in the field and find ways to improve the technology.

Geothermal technologies take advantage of the relatively constant, year-round temperature of 50 degrees that exists just a few feet below the earth’s surface. Geothermal heat pump systems can draw heat up from the earth in winter, and pump warm air down in the summer, decreasing a home or building’s energy use and its reliance on fossil fuel. To expand the use of geothermal-based heating and cooling, UW–Madison researchers are developing new and more efficient geothermal designs and methods.