Mike Fetterer shows the energy efficient cooling system at the Summerland Arena. Latent heat from the unit will be reclaimed and used to provide heat to the nearby RCMP building.

Upgrades save power

Energy-efficient technology has been installed in three of Summerland’s municipally-owned buildings.

Energy-efficient technology has been installed in three of Summerland’s municipally-owned buildings.

The new Summerland RCMP station will use excess heat from the nearby Summerland Arena for its own heating and cooling needs while the Aquatic Centre features an array of solar panels for its water heating.

Mike Fetterer, facilities maintenance supervisor for the municipality, said the pool and the arena are the two biggest energy users among all municipal buildings. In 2010, the Aquatic Centre and the Arena accounted for 34 per cent of all corporate greenhouse gas emissions.

At the pool, energy is needed to keep the building and the water warm enough, while at the arena, keeping the facility cool requires plenty of energy.

The arena presents additional challenges since the ice must remain cool but the dressing rooms and lobby area must be kept warm.

The solution was a system which captures latent heat from the equipment used to cool the arena.

Instead of just expelling the hot air from the cooling equipment out the back of the building, the system was designed to reclaim the heat and reuse it.

“All that wasted heat is not just going to the atmosphere,” he said.

The arena’s excess heat is being used to provide heat to the nearby RCMP building. Some excess heat is also being piped back into the arena for the dressing rooms and curling club ice area. Staff are also able to schedule heating demands in all the different areas now, rather than 24/7 heating and exhausting. This eliminates four natural gas burning units, which reduces our gas consumption and costs as well as GHGs which the District may have offset through the purchase of carbon credits starting in 2013.

Fetterer said the technology will save money for the municipality, but the amount has not yet been determined.

“We won’t know the real savings until we’re up and running with the new building,” he said.

Energy-efficient technology has also been installed at the Aquatic Centre, but the improvements there do not tie in to other buildings in the community.

Around a year and a half ago, the municipality installed solar panels on the roof of the Aquatic Centre to heat the cold water coming into the building up to 49C and then switches to heat the pool water.

The pool is able reduce its natural gas consumption because of the solar heat. Between 2010 and 2011, natural gas consumption dropped 28 per cent at the Aquatic Centre.

A heat recapture system is also in place at the pool. Coils pick up exhaust air heat and pre-heat the outside air coming into the building.

Fetterer said the facility receives around 10C of pre-heat from that system.