From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published September 20, 2007 03:42 PM

Canada's first hospital solar thermal energy site

 

TORONTO - In an effort to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions,  The Hospital for Sick Children Atrium in Toronto is installing a new solar panel system on the roof. The solar energy system will supplement the hospital's hot water system, providing an environmentally friendly method to reduce energy costs and increase savings for the hospital. Ninety-two collectors, also know as solar panels, are being installed on SickKids' roof, along with 480 gallons of storage volume. The collectors are fixed to the roof on pre-engineered racks that are bolted to the roof below.

Mondial Energy Inc. is installing the solar panels. When completed at the end of November 2007, the facility will be home to Canada's first hospital-based solar thermal energy site.

Under the 10-year fixed price contract, Mondial will cover the costs of the construction of the hospital's solar thermal energy site and pay for, own and maintain the solar thermal panels. In return, SickKids will purchase solar thermal energy at a fixed price from Mondial, who will meter the energy delivered to the hospital's domestic hot water system and enable SickKids to monitor its energy use in real-time. SickKids and Mondial expect to offset over 750,000 lbs of steam per year from the 92 solar panels installed. "Mondial is delighted to be of service to The Hospital for Sick Children," said Alex Winch, President of Mondial Energy Inc. "With this installment we are improving the health of the community and supporting the financial well-being of a wonderful institution."

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"This is a win-win situation for both SickKids and the environment," said Anne Marie Christian, vice-president, Facilities and Redevelopment, SickKids. "The new solar thermal energy system supports SickKids' goal to strive for operational excellence at all levels of the organization."

Solar thermal collectors gather the sun's energy and use it to heat hot water for domestic use in the hospital. The collectors transfer heat to storage tanks via a heat exchanger. The solar side of the heat exchanger contains glycol antifreeze solution while domestic hot water is on the other side. Pumps operate to transfer this energy when the collectors are warmer than the solar tanks, for instance when the sun is shining. The storage tanks allow the system to continue to collect solar energy when building demand is low. Therefore, the collected solar energy can then be used at times of peak usage when the sun is not necessarily shining. Conventional water heating systems remain online for cloudy days.


About Mondial Energy Inc.: Mondial Energy Inc. makes renewable energy an accessible, economical alternative to traditional power sources. They finance, install and maintain solar installations at client sites and bill for delivered energy at pre-established rates. Mondial, formed in 2004, is a private company with over 50 shareholders and has signed Power Purchase Agreements and letters of intent in Canada and the United States, with non-profit housing, hotels and casinos.

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