Groundwater source heat pumps exploit the difference between the ground surface temperature and the nearly constant temperature of shallow groundwater. This project characterizes two areas for geothermal heating and cooling potential, Mason County in central Illinois and the American Bottoms area in southwestern Illinois. Both areas are underlain by thick sand and gravel aquifers and groundwater is readily available. Weather data, including monthly high and low temperatures and heating and cooling degree days, were compiled for both study areas. The heating and cooling requirements for a single-family house were estimated using two independent models that use weather data as input. The groundwater flow rates needed to meet these heating and cooling requirements were calculated using typical heat pump coefficient of performance values. The groundwater in both study areas has fairly high hardness and iron concentrations and is close to saturation with calcium and iron carbonates. Using the groundwater for cooling may induce the deposition of scale containing one or both of these minerals.

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