Calgary, AB, June 6, 2015. A new building in the southeast Calgary community of Ramsay will create more energy than it uses achieving a 'net positive energy' status that is above the highly-valued 'net zero energy' target. The new building has a workshop on the main floor and modern one-bedroom apartment above. The striking one-bedroom suite is done in a contemporary style with vaulted ceilings and large east and west facing windows creating a light, airy atmosphere.
Simple Solar provided the solar energy systems as well as the space heating systems. The 12 kW solar thermal system mounted on the workshop, transfers heat to two 450-liter storage tanks for domestic water and space heating through in-floor hydronic distribution. Additional solar heat is transferred to the house where another 450 liter storage tank is used for domestic water heating and to provide heat for the forced air system. Three 30-tube collectors are mounted on the roof at 60 degrees to generate equal heat every month of the year and another three collectors are mounted on the wall at 85 degrees to provide additional heat, especially in the winter months.
The solar photo-voltaic system consists of 21-260 watt modules (5.4 kW) flush mounted on the steel roofing with micro-inverters. The PV system is connected to the grid so variations between the production and consumption are accommodated by the electrical grid. The system will provide 6,000 kWh per year of electrical energy which is almost the entire electrical consumption of both buildings on site. Energy efficiency initiatives in the older home are planned to reduce the overall electricity consumption.
The homeowner embarked on the project after the original single-story ancillary building was damaged by fire. The city looked favorably on the development as the proposal was consistent with the desire for additional suites in older, less-dense areas. The homeowner saw the redevelopment project as an opportunity to create a monthly revenue stream, offsetting the monthly costs of owning his home. His “solar power plant” provides energy cost savings further reducing his monthly expenses and he also appreciates the environmental benefits of solar compared to conventional fossil-fuel based heating and energy suppliers.
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