Cimco Completes Low-Charge Ammonia Heating/Cooling System for Canadian Community

Cimco Completes Low-Charge Ammonia Heating/Cooling System for Canadian Community

Cimco Refrigeration

Cimco Refrigeration, a Toronto, Canada-based industrial refrigeration contractor, has completed a low-charge ammonia/NH3 (R717) heating/cooling system, to be linked to a district energy-sharing system for a planned community of 30,000 residents in Edmonton, Canada.

The 536-acre community, called Blatchford,  is under construction. It is designed to be a sustainable community “that uses 100% renewable energy, is carbon neutral, significantly reduces its ecological footprint and monetary living costs,” said Cimco in a case study about the project. “By having high-efficiency buildings, utilizing energy sources and sharing energy, Blatchford homes and buildings will produce approximately 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to standard community condo and residential construction.”

Cimco said it will be monitoring the energy consumption to confirm it achieves its target.

The heat pump is part of a District Energy Sharing System (DESS) that will deliver heating, cooling and provides hot water to buildings throughout the community. The DESS will employ renewable energy sources, geothermal exchange and sewer heat exchange.

“This is the first project of this kind for Cimco,” said Jonathan Berney, Cimco’s Business Development Manager. “My understanding is that this concept is very common in Europe.”

The geothermal-source reversible heat pump, with an ammonia  charge of 255lbs (116kg), has a capacity of 250TR (kW), and includes automatic winter heating and summer cooling modes, using glycol in both cases. It includes a Mayekawa reciprocating compressor, VFD-driven with a 150HP motor; as well as two flooded Alfa Laval plate-and-frame fluid-to-ammonia heat exchangers.

The heat pump is housed in an energy station called Energy Centre One, situated in a central location in the community, in a public and pedestrian-friendly area.

“This prominent location was chosen so Blatchford residents and visitors can see where the community energy is coming from,” Cimco said.

There will eventually be three energy stations, each containing three heat pumps of the same size.

“This is the first project of this kind for Cimco,”

Jonathan BerneyCimco

Winter/summer operation

The heat pump has the capability of providing 1070kW (4GJ) of heat based on a geothermal flow rate of 780gpm (2,953LPM) or seasonal cooling of 3,120MBH of cooling at full capacity.

During the winter, the system is designed to operate at 58°F (14°C) ammonia discharge temperature and 18°F (-8°C) suction temperature, providing 250TR (879kW); it uses geothermal ground loop for chilling and provides a 50°F (10°C) fluid source as a heat source to the housing development to operate individual small-scale residential heat pumps.

In the summer, the system will operate at 40°F (4°C) suction to 90°F (32°C) condensing, using ground source geothermal; it will provides a 45°F (7°C) circuit for air conditioning at up to 350TR (1,231kW).

“Cimco is very proud to be part of this community project,” the company said. “As we expand our products and offerings to focus on more sustainable solutions, we hope that more projects like Blatchford will be the way forward to a greener, cleaner future.”

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