Flexibility in Sustainability
LEC presently uses a combination of high efficiency natural gas boilers, ground source heat pumps, heat recovery from building cooling, and solar thermal panels to heat hot water. Depending on the temperature of returning water, LEC natural gas boilers have a nominal efficiency between 87% and 98%, a rate that exceeds stand-alone boilers typically installed in multi-unit residential buildings. Heat from natural gas boilers is supplemented with energy from a number of alternative energy projects, including heat pumps that pull heat from the ground, heat pumps that use the heat rejected from cooling buildings, and solar thermal panels installed on the City Library. LEC is continually exploring ways to use waste heat from buildings and industrial processes located adjacent to the district energy system, and switching to alternative and renewable fuels. LEC will transition to using zero emissions energy sources as soon as it becomes economical to do so. This move is already underway in Central Lonsdale where LEC's mini-plant is powered by solar energy.
Solar energy is free and with highly efficient collectors, LEC is harvesting solar radiation to provide free heat to the district energy system. In 2007, the City was awarded $204,000 from the Canada-BC Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund and $69,000 from the Clean Energy Agenda of Canada's Department of Natural Resources to build 120 solar hot water panels atop what is now the North Vancouver City Library.
Geo-exchange systems use the naturally stored heat in the earth's surface, in oceans and large bodies of water. In many parts of the world, the earth's surface under the frost line maintains a nearly constant temperature between 10-degrees and 16-degrees Celsius, remaining warmer than the air above it in the winter and cooler in the summer. LEC has recently completed a heating and cooling ground source heat pump project as part of the former Lonsdale School site redevelopment. LEC uses a ground source heat pump system to transfer heat from the ground to the district energy system. The heat pump system also provides cooling to the new North Vancouver School Board office and the Gordon Smith Art Gallery, transferring the waste heat to the district energy heating system.
The Big Picture
District energy systems are working extremely well in many European countries and the City is proud to be an early pioneer of the service here in Canada. LEC also represents one of the many ways the City is taking a proactive, positive step toward becoming a more sustainable community. The City is a member of the national Partners for Climate Protection Program, and through LEC, the City is delivering on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Director, Lonsdale Energy Corporation
Cell (for emergency purposes): 604-787-9899
Mechanical Engineer, Lonsdale Energy Corporation
Cell (for emergency purposes): 604-349-4506