Ikea plans to incorporate geothermal technology into the heating and cooling system of its future Kansas City-area store under construction in Merriam, Kansas.
Related drilling and underground work should be complete by winter, with the system ultimately operational when Ikea Merriam opens Fall 2014 as the second US Ikea store tapping geothermal. The Denver-area Ikea Centennial opened with geothermal in 2011.
This closed-loop ground source heat pump system involves drilling 180 boreholes — six inches in diameter and 600 feet deep — into the earth across part of the 19-acre Ikea parcel. Pipes placed into these boreholes will form an underground network of loops for circulating 36,000 gallons of heat-transferring liquid (a water-based, anti-freeze solution) connected to 64 forced-air heat pumps to cool and heat the store. This system also includes five hot-water heat pumps to provide potable hot water needed for the store’s lavatory and restaurant operations.
Consistent with the company’s goal of being energy independent by 2020, Ikea globally has installed more than 300,000 solar panels, owns/operates about 137 wind turbines in Europe, and has geothermal systems at about 50 locations.
For the development, design and installation of the Merriam store’s geothermal project, Ikea contracted with Colorado-based Major Geothermal, an integrator of geothermal heat pump system design and installation.
Ikea US is also installing electric vehicle charging stations at 17 locations and has solar arrays atop 90% of its locations; the Merriam store also is being evaluated for solar potential.