Geothermal Distributor Walks The Walk
NextEnergy Geothermal Solutions of Elmira, Ontario, markets and distributes geothermal systems to meet the demands of the Canadian climate. In order to show the benefits of geothermal, the company became a "working model" of geothermal with the recent completion of its 25,000-square-foot building in the southern Ontario community, approximately 75 miles west of Toronto.
The building has a weather station that collects weather data specific to this site in real time to facilitate an on-demand heat loss/gain profile, showing real-time energy generation from the earth loop and the wind energy consumed.
"This assists us in running our geothermal system as efficiently as possible," said building owner David Hatherton.
The system employs a ground source loop made of 25,000 feet of 3â„4-inch geothermal pipe. One hundred percent of electric energy consumed in the building is purchased from Sky Generation, a wind turbine located on nearby Bruce Peninsula, thus creating a zero-emissions building.
Hatherton and his wife Fran, co-owner of the building, wanted office and warehouse in-floor heating and cooling, citing it as "one of the most comfortable working environments available."
System Design, FeaturesMatthew Irvine, NextEnergy Commercial manager/engineer, designed the geothermal system. The system and in-floor tubing was installed by Just Geothermal Systems, ductwork was installed by Delta Mechanical, and the building was designed and constructed by Frey Building Contractors.
The system is made up of the following components:
According to Travis Schmidt, NextEnergy business development coordinator, the ClimateMaster Tranquility 27 heat pumps, with ClimaDry reheat/passive cooling coils, allow passive cooling on the air side along with forced dehumidification when required to control dew point.
"These units are located throughout the offices, usually hanging from the ceiling in the hallways," he said.
The in-floor piping in the office and warehouse is installed at 6-inch centers to allow a reduction in circulating in-floor fluids at lower temperatures than conventional in-floor systems. "This is done to take advantage of the inherent efficiency/capacity gains of water-to-water geothermal heat pumps," Schmidt said.
The office flooring is made with precast foam insulated concrete to help with the in-floor heating process and R20 plus insulation value is added between floors, which focuses on the heating or cooling.
This data is live online through an IP address and will reflect the actual real-time loads and consumption of all components in the building. This data will be summarized to display on-demand economics of the system to communicate the financial and environmental viability of the building.
"With the thermal masses in the 300-gallon storage tanks, the concrete floors and earth loop, we have the opportunity to utilize time-of-use electrical rates by ramping down our energy consumption during high energy cost periods without adversely effecting building temperatures and occupancy comfort," said Schmidt.
Some of the other unique features of the building and geothermal system include:
For more information on NextEnergy, visit www.nextenergysolutions.com.
Publication date: 10/17/2005