Residual heat to warm Astro Hill buildings

Hospital will be first to benefit from heat recovery scheme


By the beginning of November, leftover heat from Iqaluit’s power plant will be used for a good purpose: to heat the new Qikiqtani Hospital.

But this is just the first step towards using residual heat from the power plant’s diesel generators to warm several other buildings in Iqaluit, including Inuksuk High School, the Brown Building, the CBC building, Nunastar properties, Nunavut Arctic College and Nunavut’s new justice building.

Heating the hospital with residual heat is expected save more than one million litres of expensive fuel each year.

And additional benefits include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, long-term savings, fewer repairs and less furnace noise.

The $5 million-residual heat project for the new hospital received $1.5 in federal money.

But Iqaluit’s project is similar to other residual heating projects, which are already up and running across the territory: at water plants in Kugluktuk and Taloyoak, and schools in Arviat and Pangnirtung.

In Rankin Inlet, nine public and three private buildings, including the new health centre, are heated with residual energy.

With the Iqaluit project now near completion, Qulliq Energy Corporation’s chief engineer, Radek Bryx, told business users in Iqaluit how using residual energy works as a heat source.

Diesel generators use only 35 per cent of the energy in diesel fuel to produce electricity. The rest – its residual energy – goes off into the atmosphere.

But this heat coming off diesel generators can be captured and siphoned off. Then insulated underground pipes from the power plant transport the heat to all buildings connected to the system, through a transfer station.

This transfer station has all the piping and equipment to control, measure and transfer heat to the buildings.

Iqaluit’s first transfer station, not far from the hospital, will send heat to the hospital through insulated underground pipes, and, in a second phase, to other neighbouring buildings.

The project is expected to reduce heating costs at the hospital by 10 per cent and should lead to fewer breakdowns in the hospital’s heating systems. The use of residual heat already means the hospital can manage with one less boiler furnace.

“Residual heat is secondary heat, but it still has the capacity to meet heating needs,” Bryx said.

Once the capital costs involved in this project are recovered, the residual heat will cost much less to produce than regular oil-burning heat.

In Iqaluit, the capital costs of the project should be recovered in four years. Then, the Qulliq Energy Corp. will have to decide where to apply the money earned through the sale of residual heat: back to the purchasers of the heat, all power consumers or to the corporation.
“Spread it out to us, so we pay less in power,” was the suggestion from Ranvva Simonsen, a business owner in Apex.

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