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Updated: Monday, 14 May 2012, 7:57 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 14 May 2012, 7:57 PM EDT
PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) - The Rhode Island Historical Society is using green technology to heat and cool The Rhode Island Historical Society's library, to help preserve important artifacts from Rhode Island's history.
Inside the 138 year old building are important pieces of Rhode Island's history such as archival, manuscript, graphic, printed and media collections, which include more than 600,000 items.
When the historical society first decided to update the heating and cooling system they decided against installing a conventional system which would require a large box to be put on the roof or in the yard.
The difference with the geothermal system is it's all underground. Instead of burning fossil fuels, geothermal uses the temperature of the ground to regulate the temperature in the building.
Water and an antifreeze circulate from the house into the ground and back. The warmer or cooler water is used to heat or cool the air in the house. An added benefit is the humidity can be regulated much better, which is important when you are preserving historical items.
The system is being paid for by a private grant worth 127,653 dollars from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Rhode Island Historical Society is the only recipient of this grant money in the state, and one of only 31 awardees nationwide.
The geothermal system at the historical society's library is expected to be operational by next summer.
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