New Experiments in District Heating

New projects in North Carolina and Ontario take an old idea of district heating to new levels using solar.
March 3, 2009, 1pm PST | Tim Halbur
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"Last month, North Carolina's Vanir Energy and EnerWorks, of London, Ontario, completed what the two renewable companies describe as the world's largest solar thermal installation – 640 collectors on the 1-million square-foot Fletcher Business Park in North Carolina.

The project provides more proof of the growing acceptance of solar thermal as an economical means of reducing emissions in large structures.

But EnerWorks officials have their eyes on another solar thermal venture, this one in tiny Okotoks, Alberta. For the past year, the Drake Landing subdivision in the prairie town has been a testing ground for an innovative variation on traditional district heating - one that sources and stores heat with solar panels and geothermal tubing.

'The idea was to prove, based on previous projects in Europe and using North American technology, that it is possible to build district heating systems for communities,' says Florin Plavosin, director of application engineering at EnerWorks."

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Published on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 in The Wall St. Journal
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