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Leveraging Innovation to deliver resilient, resource-efficient solutions

The modernization of the National Capital Region’s district energy system features many innovations such as:

Converting the system from steam to low temperature hot water

Although it has been done overseas in cities such as London and Paris, this is the first time in North America that such a large network is converted from steam to safer, more energy efficient low temperature hot water. That means that instead of circulating extremely hot steam through the pipes, low temperature hot water will be used to heat the buildings connected to the network. This project will involve upgrading and redesigning pipes and other components since steam and low temperature hot water circulate through pipes of different diameters.

Integrating river-cooling

The Ottawa River will help chill the water which will be used to cool buildings connected to the network. Combined with the use of electric chillers, this is a more sustainable alternative to the system presently in place.

Cliff plant curtain wall
View of the Cliff plant from Gatineau showing the exterior and the stainless steel stacks
Future view of the Cliff plant from Gatineau showing the exterior and the stainless steel stacks

The Cliff Central Heating and Cooling Plant, designed to be an architectural landmark, will fit well with the topography and contours of the limestone cliffs in this area. Given the massive length and height of the Cliff Plant along the base of Parliament Hill, the building envelope design will be focused on screening and hiding the mechanical plant building behind an organically flowing, freeform curtain.

Leveraging digital tools

A transparent and secure digital tool will track and monitor CO2 emissions internally. Innovate Energy will also use block-chain technology, a more efficient and cost-effective approach to gathering information, and collecting and verifying data by third parties. Integrating digital tools developed overseas specifically for the operation and maintenance of district energy systems, will contribute to the efficient use of energy, enable effective maintenance strategies, and create a healthy and safe environment for all employees.

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