Strathcona Regional District Gets in the Energy Loop
The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Centre in Campbell River, Strathcona Regional District installed an ‘energy recovery loop’ which channels waste energy from the ice rink’s compressor room to heating the Centre’s pools.
Photo: Heat Pumps: Heat pumps remove the energy from the glycol circulating in the piping system and heat the swimming pools.
Success Story Snapshot
|Energy Savings / GHG Reductions: The energy saved by this project will be between 11,000 and 13,000 gigajoules of natural gas energy every year. This will amount to between 561,000 and 663,000 kg of CO2 reductions per year.|
|Business case: The reduction of natural gas used will save local government $50,000-$60,000 annually.|
|Co-benefits: Community and staff awareness and education of climate action increased. The project is an example of staff and elected officials commitment to GHG reductions.|
|Total project cost: The total project cost was $ 310,000 – funded by Gas Tax and local governments.|
The energy loop channels waste heat from the arena ammonia compressor room, where ice is made for the two rinks, to the swimming and leisure pools. It uses 600 feet of pipe. Energy is added to the loop at the compressor room and removed as needed to heat the pools.
“The whole system is really a very simple concept of absorbing waste heat or energy from one location and bringing it to an area where there is a demand” explains Lorne Parker, the Operations Manager of the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex. “In the recreation centre we are constantly cooling one area of our building while heating another.”
Parker initiated the retrofit by researching the system and by exploring funding opportunities. He received full support from the Strathcona Gardens Commission. The Commission oversees the operation of Strathcona Gardens Recreation Centre and consists of representatives from the City of Campbell River and Strathcona Regional District Electoral Area D.
The energy loop is designed and sized in a way that will enable future expansions to connect to the current infrastructure at a significantly lower cost. Future expansions or connections to the energy loop could include air handling units, preheating domestic water and snow melting pits for the ice cleaning machines.
Investment in high efficiency heating systems like Strathcona Gardens is helping to reduce the carbon footprint from local government operations.
Energy Savings/GHG reductions
The total project cost was $310,000 with $99,750 coming from a grant and the remainder funded by the Strathcona Regional District. The grant money was supplied by the Gas Tax Fund (Gas Tax Innovations Fund) – managed by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).
“Investment in high efficiency heating systems like Strathcona Gardens is helping to reduce the carbon footprint from local government operations. We are appreciative of the support provided by the Federal government for this project,” said Rhona Martin UBCM President
The reduction of natural gas used to heat the main and leisure pools will save the local government $50,000-$60,000 annually.
Increased community awareness about climate action solutions are an additional benefit of the energy loop system. The innovative system serves as a public education tool about waste-heat recovery and informs staff about building energy reduction.
Complementary education such as building operator training helps staff identify other energy-reduction and maintenance measures to save energy in the same building. Subsequently, staff has also replaced arena lighting with energy efficient fixtures and are participating in a anti-idling campaign.
The entire project shows the commitment of the Strathcona Regional District and its citizens to reducing greenhouse gases.
Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex Operations Manager Lorne Parker encourages other local governments to consider this type of climate action tool and to tour other facilities that have undertaken similar types of projects. Research is a key component for successful projects. Parker has learned the importance of early preparation when applying for grant money, “I try to have my projects and RFP’s shelf-ready, so that when there is opportunity you can take full advantage.”
The following Tools can be used for researching energy recovery loops for corporate operations
The Strathcona Regional District has policies in place that support this climate action success.
- Planning tools: Resource Management Plan, Corporate Climate Action Plan
- Policy tools: Civic Building Policy, Green Infrastructure Policy
The Regional District signed the BC Climate Action Charter committing them to three goals:
1. Become carbon neutral in its corporate operations by 2012
2. Measure and report on its community greenhouse gas emissions profile
3. Create complete, compact, energy efficient rural and urban communities
Links to other BC Communities taking the same climate action:
- Whistler Sliding Centre: When the plant is running it re-uses heat from the compressors to help with the heating in the Guest Services building.
- Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Treatment Plant Heat Recovery - Panorama Recreation Centre: The Saanich Peninsula system captures thermal energy from wastewater effluent to provide hot water and space-heating using heat recovery technology for the pool at Panorama Recreation Centre.
- Burns Lake Pellet Heating Plant Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena: heat recovery system used to heat or preheat water for resurfacing:
- Kitimat Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre/ Tamitik Arena Waste Heat from ice plants used to heat the water in the Aquatic Centre‐ both pool water and potable water – link to informational pamphlet
- Village of Nakusp Complex/Arena: Heat recovery system underway.