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Single line heating\cooling systems

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Posted by SolutionsWanted on May 11, 2011 at 16:33:24:

I'm charged with making a 1960's HVAC system more efficient. I'm focusing on our 50,000 sq ft 2-story main building: 2-gas fired Hurst water tube boilers (3600 mbtu's each), 1-steam boiler, 2-rooftop chillers... but only 1 line for both heating and cooling. Because the system has been compromised over the years (from the original design), we now have a half automated\half manual means of switching over from heating to cooling. We are in Oregon's Willamette Valley, so during the spring and fall it becomes difficult to "guess" the HDD\CDD's for the day. Takes 2.5 to 3 hours to switch so we don't blow up the chillers.

My idea is to bury a stainless steel 500-750 gallon reservoir tank and use it's treated water to speed the heat to cool cycle. Ground temps are steady at 54 degrees. Has someone heard of or tried this? What issues would need to be resolved? I've asked this on the engineering forum "Eng-Tips" to no avail. If this idea is stupid, please explain why.

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