Achieving Net Zero: A Paradigm Shift in Sustainability for Community Living

Whisper Valley entrance sign

The Challenge

As the world struggles with the pressing challenge of climate change, the need for sustainable and environmentally friendly cooling solutions has become increasingly apparent. Geothermal cooling, also known as ground source heat pump (GSHP) technology, has emerged as a front runner in this endeavor, offering a promising pathway towards decarbonization and Net Zero goals.

Drone shot of Whisper Valley CommunityIn the heart of Austin, Texas, lies the Whisper Valley Community – a beacon of sustainability, environmental consciousness, and innovative living. This master-planned community has garnered national recognition for its commitment to eco-friendly practices and its pioneering use of geothermal cooling to provide efficient and environmentally responsible heating and cooling solutions.

Geothermal cooling systems are a sustainable way to heat and cool buildings because they do not produce any emissions. They are also very efficient, meaning that they use less energy than traditional heating and cooling systems. Unlike conventional air conditioning systems that rely on electricity generated from fossil fuels, geothermal systems extract heat from the ground, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

projects-whisper-valley-image2The Whisper Valley Community uses GSHPs with a closed loop of refrigerant circulating through underground pipes or loops to transfer heat from the ground to the home’s interior for heating. This process reverses for cooling. The interconnection of all homes through the GeoGrid™ captures the diversity of thermal loading, enhancing system resiliency and reliability.

Whisper Valley Community needed cooling towers that could help them successfully implement GSHP.

The Solution

A core component of Whisper Valley's geothermal cooling system are Tower Tech modular cooling towers, that seamlessly integrate with the community's sustainable ethos. These towers play a pivotal role in dissipating heat extracted from the earth, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency throughout the year. The towers' innovative design allows for maximum airflow, promoting efficient heat transfer. Additionally, the TTXRs' use of high-quality, corrosion-resistant metals and durable pultruded fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) ensures longevity and beautiful aesthetics that blend into the natural setting of the community.

Tower tech towers behind a fence

The Result

ANdQjscr4KfCWACT-1Tower Tech bridges the gap between sustainability and efficiency to support decarbonization efforts and a Net Zero status. EcoSmart homes in the Whisper Valley achieved an average Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating of 18 which is 75-80% more energy efficient than a standard home. The cooling towers at Whisper Valley provide unique technology achieving the lowest life cycle cost including:

  • Average annual energy consumption reduction of more than 40,000 kWh
  • More than 1 million gallons of water saved annually
  • Chemical treatment reduction of more than 35%
  • Maintenance requirements reduced over 80%

Through their concerted efforts and with the help of Tower Tech, Whisper Valley has achieved Net Zero status, a remarkable feat that signifies the community's ability to produce no more greenhouse gas emissions than it can offset. This achievement is a testament to the community's unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and its dedication to creating a sustainable future.

Cooling Tower Specifications:

  • TTXR open circuit modular cooling tower for 7,500 planned homes
  • 6’ high sub-structure
  • Rotary Spray Nozzles™ (3:1 turndown capability with 6’ x 6’ Square Spray Pattern)
  • U.S. electrical motors with fan motor control panel and temperature controller
  • Six direct-drive fans
  • Individual rotary disconnects
  • Stainless steel fan motor support

Cooling Tower Design Conditions:

  • Flow rate (GPM): 800 min/2,400 max
  • Entering water temperature (HWT): 95°F
  • Leaving water temperature (CWT): 85°F
  • Entering wet bulb temperature (WBT): 75°F

Sustainable efficiency is our guiding purpose by saving valuable resources.