Canada and the northern states have a lot of ice rinks. Most communities across Canada with more than 500 people have a local ice arena that is the social center of the town...and they are typically the most energy intensive buildings in the community. And the sad thing is most of the energy they use is simply thrown to the wind through a cooling tower. And there's a lot of energy...the average ice arena operating 10 months of the year has to get rid of
about 1.5 to 2.0 million kWh (5.1 to 6.8 m kBtu) of energy per year. That's enough energy to heat 100 to 200 typical homes, depending on construction and location. Approximately 60-70 ground coupled ice rinks have been built in the U.S. and Canada over the last 15 years.
One of the more interesting projects is located in the Town of Gibsons, BC. The Town has completed the first phase of a 750 home development...about 40 homes have been completed and connected to the system. When the development nears the community owned ice arena, the cooling tower will be replaced with a connection to the GHX. The heat from the ice arena will warm the GHX all year round, allowing up to 200 additional homes to be connected to the GHX.
In my blog I'll be expressing my opinions about what I've the learned about ground coupled heat pump (GCHP) systems over the last 30 years. I've been very fortunate to work with many interesting people who are passionate about this technology...engineers, geologists, mechanical contractors, drillers, excavation contractors...in different parts of the world. I've learned a lot from them and will be using this forum to pass on some of the things I've learned and feel are important. Please feel free to use this information if you feel it's worthwhile...hopefully you can avoid some of the same mistakes I've learned from.
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