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09/02/2012 | News, Newsletter April 2012
IEA-SHC Task 45: Visit to Drake Landing Solar Community, almost 100% solar supply to the local DH

One of the absolute highlights of  the IEA-SHC Task 45 meeting and workshops in Canada in October 2011 was the visit to the Drake Landing Solar Community (DLSC),  Okotoks, Alberta. The system proves that SDH can provide close to 100% of the annual heat load even for a cold climate at high latitudes.

DLSC is a small residential area of 52 homes within a much larger community. What sets DLSC apart from the rest of the community is that it is heated by a district energy system including a seasonal heat storage. Excess solar energy from summer months is stored underground  in a borehole storage and  then distributed in winter time to each home. A diagram of the system is shown below.


Principle diagram of  Drake Landing solar system (http://www.dlsc.ca/how.htm)

System data:
  • Collector area: 2293 m²
  • Bore hole  storage: 34 000 m3 earth (144 boreholes, depth 35 meters, diameter/width 35 meters)
  • Short term water storage: 2 * 120 m3 water tanks
  • Heat load: 2700 GJ 
  • Solar fraction 90 %

It is noticed that approx. 44 m² collector per house give this almost 100 % solar fraction. One of the ”tricks” used to reach such high solar fraction is the low temperatures used for the district heating -  even in winter time the houses can be fully heated with forward flow temperatures in the range of 37 - 45°C.
 
This system is a first “small scale” demo project paving the way for larger projects. Already, a system 10-20 times larger is being planned - utilising the experience from Drake Landing.


Winter time in Drake landing (http://www.dlsc.ca/photos/index.htm)

More info:
 
Sources:
  • Bruce Sibbitt et al , “MEASURED AND SIMULATED PERFORMANCE OF A HIGH SOLAR FRACTION DISTRICT HEATING SYSTEM WITH SEASONAL STORAGE”, Paper for ISES Solar World Congress 2011.
  • Drake Landing Solar Community homepage: http://www.dlsc.ca
 
Editor: 
  • Jan Erik Nielsen, PlanEnergi, Operating agent of IEA-SHC Task 45
     
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