Associated Engineering developed a unique application of solar panels that can provide thermal energy to offset traditional heating at the Minoru Aquatic Centre in Richmond, even in our maritime climate. The cost-effective system uses unglazed panels where glazed panels have typically been used, providing significant cost savings for installation. These panels can be drained, and therefore won’t freeze or require the use of glycol during periods of cold weather.
The system maximizes the use of solar energy by storing the heat until it is needed. The thermal energy is used to pre-heat domestic hot water, since it is a significant, concentrated load that was heated entirely by carbon intensive and expensive gas boilers. A public display demonstrates the specific benefits of this project to users. By harnessing clean energy from the sun, the City can lower their consumption of conventional fuel and reduce their carbon footprint.