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Pump it Up: Community Geoexchange

By District Energy posted 11-02-2022 05:36




Blatchford’s one-megawatt heat pump is providing clean, green energy from deep underground.

In an open field near the centre of the Blatchford redevelopment sits a small round building with mirrored cladding reflecting the bright blue sky and the words “Energy Centre One” displayed prominently on one wall. Inside is an enormous heat pump, a machine that efficiently converts energy from one state to another through a loop of pumps, compressors, valves and refrigerant.

“It’s 10 times more efficient than any furnace,” says Christian Felske, a professional engineer and the City of Edmonton’s Director of Renewable Energy Systems. “The way mechanical engineers describe efficiency is the COP value, the coefficient of performance. This one can achieve 10, which is massive.”

The 536-acre Blatchford redevelopment is one of the City of Edmonton’s signature environmental initiatives. In partnership with private developers, the City is turning the former city-centre airport into a carbon-neutral community for 30,000 Edmontonians. The City committed to powering Blatchford with a utility driven entirely by renewable energy. This heat pump – together with the ones to follow – is the key to making that happen.

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