New energy savings for BC Hotels

Written by deanne on . Posted in From The Blog, Waste Heat Recovery

New energy savings for BC Hotels

hotel-solarWith FortisBC rebates up to $60,000, BC Hydro rebates, and Vancity’s low financing rates for energy efficient capital upgrades, it’s possible to have a heat recovery system in your BC hotel now, and the renewable energy loan paid off in less than three years. Future fuel bills are reduced up to 60%.

“Waste heat from a chilled loop system can be recovered before it’s lost,” says Pro Eco Energy’s Roger Huber. “The hotel’s cooling loop system is in use mostly year round particularly in 4-pipe system hotels. Waste heat recovery systems are capable of heating domestic hot water up to 50 degrees C, and heat the hotel pool/hot-tub for up to 9 months a year.

“The ambient heat just from meetings and convention rooms when they’re in use can rise by one to two degrees, starting up the air conditioner,” says Roger. “Visitors arrive in the hotel rooms and may feel cold; most guests turn on the heating system, but then leave shortly after for shopping or dinner etc. After they get back to their overheated room, now at over 22°C, they will turn on the AC to cool the room down. All this heat can be re-used by bringing it back into the building.”

“Control systems can even better manage where heat and cooling is diverted, adding perhaps 20%-30% energy efficiency to a system.” Hotels with pools can store and reuse the most heat, but even hotels without these facilities can ‘recycle’ their unused heat.

Vancity Financing

Canada’s biggest credit union, Vancity was recently named Best Corporate Citizen for 2013 by Corporate Knights. Vancity has a commitment to become the first North American based financial institution to become Carbon Neutral.

Vancity invests in businesses that are actively improving their environmental performance. Vancity is particularly interested in the energy efficiency of buildings, recognizing the impact of the built environment on climate change, and financing green buildings.

About Pro Eco Energy

Pro Eco Energy has been designing highly efficient renewable energy systems for hotels that qualify for rebates and renewable energy financing rates. Pro Eco Energy is the renewable energy leader in Western Canada for commercial and public building Hybrid-energy systems. Pro Eco Energy has been designing custom award-winning renewable energy systems for 15 years. Pro Eco provides free on-site evaluations.

Comfort Inn earns Green Building Certification

Written by deanne on . Posted in Waste Heat Recovery

Comfort Inn Earns Green Building Certification

Inn Certified GreenRed Deer Alberta’s Comfort Inn & Suites earned Certified Green Building recognition recently. The hotel has reduced it’s CO2 by 740,000 kg annually and is saving $103,00 a year in energy costs. The building was an idea by owner Brad Gabrielson as a celebration of Alberta’s 100th anniversary in 2005, and has been recognized by the Comfort Inn chain as a model for other Comfort Inns.

Pro Eco Energy designed the waste heat recovery-solar system which leads to most of the savings.

“The gas bill the first year was $24,000, one-fifth that of a neighboring hotel,” says owner Brad Gabrielson. “Most of it goes toward running the three dryers. All the hot and cold domestic water, water park pool, hot tub, air conditioning and laundry hot water is supplied through the solar energy system. Besides the gas savings, my insurance also went down since the solar energy system does not use gas lines, reducing the fire risk.”

“I highly recommend that other hotels go with free solar energy. I’m involving Pro Eco Energy in the design of my next hotel from the ground floor,” says Gabrielson.

“The solar and heat recovery system is very simple and reliable with very low maintenance,” says Roger Huber of Pro Eco Energy.

The Alberta hotel’s other green initiatives are high efficiency lighting, Duralast roof, low E argon windows and multi-layer insulated wall system.

Green Building Initiatives is a company which provides green building analyses and high efficiency lighting systems.

Hotels go renewable

Written by deanne on . Posted in Waste Heat Recovery

Hotels go renewable

The Listel Hotel Vancouver is at the forefront of eco-initiatives and on March 7, 2013 it opens the doors for a tour of it’s cutting edge renewable energy system. The waste heat recovery-solar system designed by Pro Eco Energy is saving the hotel $12,000 a year, with a payback time from 4–6 years. We invite chief engineers and hotel managers to come and take a look at how renewable energy for hotels is working.

Listel Hotel chief engineer with waste heat recovery unit

Listel Hotel’s chief engineer Rob Fales shows the air to water heat pump that pre-heats domestic hot water. See the video

With more consumer interest now than ever in buying environmentally aware products, customers appreciate the hotel reducing fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

The combination of heat pump, solar thermal and new solar PV systems controlled by computer, is making it more cost effective to install renewable energy into hotels.

The Listel Hotel is not the only hotel in Western Canada that’s installed a renewable energy system. Environmental leaders Comfort Inn Red Deer, Best Western Kelowna, Holiday Inn Lethbridge, Waterfront Inn Penticton, Inn at Big White, and Sundance Lodge Big White, have renewable systems in place designed by Pro Eco Energy.

Come and learn about the cost-benefits and other features of new energy technologies available today.

Orofino Winery’s tasting buildings powered by solar PV and thermal

Written by deanne on . Posted in Wineries with renewable energy systems

Strawbale winery buildings powered by renewable energy

owners of Orofino Vineyards on roof with solar panelsOrofino Winery increases it’s environmental commitment with winery tasting buildings now powered completely by solar energy. While the grapes thrive in the Okanagan’s 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, so does solar energy production.

Co-owners of the Cawston, B.C. winery, John and Virginia Weber, are proud. “Orofino is Canada’s only strawbale constructed winery,” says Virginia Weber. “Energy and eco-efficiency has been on the top of our mandate from the beginning. We have always thought that solar power would work really well in our valley and this project reflects our goals of significantly reducing our energy footprint. This building will run on 100% renewable energy.”

The project uses a unique hybrid system of photovoltaic solar panels and solar thermal collectors. The system was designed and constructed by Pro Eco Energy in Summerland, BC who are leaders in solar technology in Western Canada.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal water heating hybrid was found to be the most economical to meet the electricity and hot water needs of the wine buildings. Two glazed solar thermal collectors for $10,000, instead of 18 solar PV collectors, were more cost efficient for the building’s hot water needs. The solar energy is at both peak production and peak demand in summer when the winery receives the most visitors. The custom hybrid renewable energy system is unique to Orofino Winery, but John thinks there are over 80 wineries in BC alone that could also benefit from the design.

“It’s possible for wineries to cost-effectively install a renewable energy system to take care of their energy needs in perpetuity,” says Roger Huber of Pro Eco Energy Ltd. “Several Okanagan wineries are leading the energy movement towards renewables, and as an environmentalist and father, it makes me very happy to see it taking hold in Canada.”

The project was initiated after Orofino undertook a voluntary energy assessment through the Livesmart BC Energy Advisor Program where the winery was ranked in the top 10 out of 450 assessments completed by Livesmart. The Webers were encouraged to apply for the Livesmart BC Champions Program after discussing their goals of implementing solar power to reduce their carbon footprint. The project was designed and submitted for acceptance by the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines and partial funding was awarded under the Innovations category.

Orofino Winery owners and solar panels

About Orofino

Orofino Vineyards is a six-acre property on the sun-drenched Cawston bench in the Similkameen Valley. Owners John and Virginia Weber produce handcrafted small lots of premium wines that have garnered numerous medals from top wine competitions.

Canada’s only strawbale winery was constructed in 2004/2005. “Earthy” 21 inch thick walls provide superior insulation qualities – ideal for manufacturing constant barrel room temperatures. Strawbale design has been around for over 200 years. The energy efficiency is unparalleled as walls are rated at up to R-60. The building is naturally cool in the summer and also retains heat well in the winter.

About Pro Eco Energy

Pro Eco Energy designs custom award-winning renewable energy systems. We are the renewable energy leader in Western Canada for commercial and public building solar energy systems. Pro Eco Energy utilizes the newest technologies for cost effective HVAC systems, installed on time and at competitive prices.


 Solutions through alternative energy

Fast Food Restaurants ideal candidates for waste heat recovery systems

Written by deanne on . Posted in Waste Heat Recovery

Fast Food Restaurants ideal candidates for waste heat recovery systems

Step into a commercial kitchen and you can feel the heat being generated by cookers, stoves, washing of dishes and cutlery, and big fridges and air conditioners. Commercial kitchens such as those of the many fast food restaurants in our province use a lot of heat, and unfortunately much of it goes up through the roof when it could be redirected into a renewable energy system.

Happily, heat recovery systems such as those designed and installed by Pro Eco Energy can help recapture that heat and use it to reduce a restaurant’s overall energy use. Heat from exhaust hoods, hot drain water and refrigeration from walk-in coolers and air conditioners can be used to pre-heat air or domestic hot water.

Right: Cambridge Mill restaurant’s heat exchanger for geothermal heating and cooling

How it works:

At a basic level, hot air or hot water that’s been captured from an appliance like a dishwasher, walk-in freezer, or exhaust hood, is re-directed to where it can be used for heating water or air. Although the water or air may not be quite warm enough for immediate use, pre-heating air and water allows your furnace or hot water heater to work less.

Common types of heat recovery systems include:

  • Kitchen and dishwasher hood recovery systems to pre-heat makeup air (although using kitchen hood heat can be challenging due to grease build-up on filters and heat-exchanger surfaces)
  • Dishwasher and sink hot water piped back to heat hot water
  • Hot air in the kitchen used by a heat pump to preheat hot water
  • Heat from refrigeration units used to preheat makeup air or hot water

Restaurant Waste Heat Recovery Systems in Action

1) The renovated, historic Cambridge Mill restaurant in Ontario, installed an energy-recovery ventilation system that captures 85 percent of the heat lost through the kitchen’s exhaust system and uses it to pre-heat both the building’s makeup air and domestic hot water. Among other benefits, the system, which has an estimated 3.5-year payback period, allows the hot water heaters to use less energy, as they’re heating water that’s already 95 degrees. More details on Cambridge Mill’s energy-efficient systems

Burger King with wind turbine on sign2) A Burger King in Germany has a heat recovery ventilation system that cools and heats the restaurant, saving 73 percent of energy consumption per year. The ueber – efficient restaurant actually uses a wind turbine attached to its outdoor sign, as well as more than on more than 720 photovoltaic modules. More info about the Ueber-efficient Burger King

3) With the corporate goal to reduce energy and water consumption by 5 percent at new locations, Tim Horton’s built it’s first LEED registered restaurant in Hamilton, Ont, last year with a waste heat recovery system. The chain is anticipating energy savings of 34,110kwh per year, water savings of 540,000 L/yr. (Source: LEED case study, Tim Hortons, Hamilton, Ont) If you’re interested in the environment, seek out the new Tim Horton’s energy efficient locations.

Pro Eco Energy

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