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Canadian Home Builders Association Drake Landing Solar Community May 28, 2010

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Canadian Home Builders Association Drake Landing Solar Community May 28, 2010. Drake Landing Solar Community Okotoks, Alberta. Presentation Outline: Technology Concept Implementation Challenges Latest Performance Update Replication Discussions. Purpose of Project:

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Canadian Home Builders Association

Drake Landing Solar Community May 28, 2010

drake landing solar community okotoks alberta
Drake Landing Solar Community Okotoks, Alberta
  • Presentation Outline:
  • Technology Concept
  • Implementation Challenges
  • Latest Performance Update
  • Replication Discussions
  • Purpose of Project:
  • Technology demonstration
  • Model development
solar energy a locally available renewable energy
Solar Energy – a Locally Available Renewable Energy

May – September 100%

April – September 96%

underground thermal energy storage systems
Underground Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Borehole-based system

Borehole thermal energy storage (BTES)

Aquifer-based system

Aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES)

drake landing solar community btes
Drake Landing Solar Community (BTES)
  • First solar seasonal storage community in North America
  • First in world greater than 90 percent solar fraction
  • Reduction of 5 tonnes greenhouse gas per home per year
  • Energy efficient single family homes (52 homes)

Okotoks, Alberta, Canada


Solar Thermal Collectors

  • 798 single-glazed solar thermal collectors
  • 2,300 m2 collector area
  • Mounted at 45 pitch
  • 1.6 megawatts thermal power
  • Glycol / water heat transfer fluid
  • Separate solar domestic hot water (DHW) supply system
btes field top view
BTES Field Top View

Energy Centre

BTES Field

BTES = borehole thermal energy storage

energy delivery air handler unit
Energy Delivery (Air Handler Unit)

Electronically commutated motors

High-efficiency fan coils

Integrated heat recovery ventilators (HRV)

drake landing project status
Drake Landing Project Status

Fully operational since July 1, 2007;

Energy system is working well and meeting expectations.

Newsletter issued Sept 2009

Live performance report web site May 2010

Calls from all different countries for site tours and visits;

People constantly asking if there are more homes for sell;

Homebuyers chose Okotoks over Calgary because of DLSC project;

Homebuilders continuing the green building path (Sterling Homes, Lifestyle Homes);

Residents live in a close-knit community (BBQs, summer solstice party)

- Dawn Heffernan, Environment and Sustainability Coordinator


Technical and Construction Challenges

  • Roof space for solar collectors
    • Need large roof area for solar collectors;
    • Concerns in changing the house roof line;
    • Separation of DHW and space heating collectors.
  • Garage design and construction
    • Ground settlement;
    • Roof truss tolerances;
    • Roof angle for solar collection.
  • Collector installation
    • Tight space between collectors;
    • Schedule;
    • Steep slope.

Technical and Construction Challenges

  • District energy service line connection
    • District loop piping has to be in before homes are built;
    • Service line access;
    • House foundation design.
  • Shallow and deep utility services
    • Limited space available;
    • Need for 4-party trench;
    • District line compatibility w other services.
  • Air handler design
    • Low temperature distribution;
    • Integrated air handler and HRV.
project non technical challenges
Project Non-Technical Challenges

Market structural



Human resources and knowledge

Perceived risk

performance monitoring good data is key
Performance Monitoring – Good Data is Key
  • Daily download
  • Automated process with alert / error messaging
  • Window environment common programming elements (eg. CYGWIN)
  • Data stored in Microsoft SQL Server
replication discussions
Replication Discussions

Economies of Scale

250 – 500 units or larger

Integrated Energy Systems for Communities

Integration with heat pump?

Requires less collectors, larger borehole spacing, larger borehole field area, requires heat pump, operating at lower storage temperature

GHG impact may be higher or lower depending on local generation mix

Development Density and Land Use

Better opportunities for higher density and mixed development

replication discussions1
Replication Discussions

Buildings with cooling loads

– even better opportunity

Further reduce the number of collectors

May work well with unglazed collectors, roof membrane or asphalt collectors (lower cost than glazed collectors)

Key is to maintain energy balance in the underground thermal energy exchange medium

Several studies with ATES with solar or waste heat from biogas CHP

questions and discussion
Questions and Discussion

Bill Wong, P.Eng.

Assistant Vice-President – Technical Lead

Renewable Energy and Climate Change

SAIC Canada

Ottawa, ON Canada Tel: (613) 683-3281