OTTAWA - Few buildings present more of an energy challenge than an ice arena or a supermarket. In an ice arena, you have to keep the sitting spectators warm but the athletes and ice cool; in a supermarket, you have to keep the fresh meat safe to eat but the shoppers comfortable. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is now offering free online software designed to make it easier to assess energy issues in refrigerated buildings. Its RETScreen® software is a decision-support tool that helps building owners and operators evaluate the energy savings, life-cycle costs, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for projects that incorporate advanced refrigeration systems.

For example, it is possible to provide all the heat needed by these types of buildings, including space heating, ventilation air, and hot water, by simply recovering heat created by the refrigeration system. It is also possible to significantly reduce the number of refrigerant losses, with substantial greenhouse gas savings, by using secondary loops. These and a series of other energy efficiency measures can lead to substantial energy, cost, and greenhouse gas savings for arenas and supermarkets.

The software tool was developed by NRCan’s CanmetENERGY research center with co-funding from the Buildings Division of NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency.

To download the software, go to

Publication date:01/10/2011