Geothermal invention first of its kind 0
A new member of the geothermal heating and cooling family is the first patent of its kind to enter the world market.
And it was invented in Haliburton County.
Developed and released in late August, Lima-1 is the first geothermal transfer system to be created under the new Limnion product line, created by Heat-Line CEO and founder Lorne Heise.
Located in Carnarvon and known for their work in water pipe freeze protection, Heat-Line recently entered the geothermal market with a system aimed at extracting energy from the water used to heat and cool your home.
Like a geothermal lake loop, the Lima-1 system works for lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans and has been engineered to work with the ecosystem.
The system features a design unlike a loop system and is a compact and lightweight unit constructed using a hexagonal barrel shape. Made using modern polymers, the unit is constructed without the use of metal.
According to Fraser Newton, project manager for the Limnion product line, "the unit is suitable for six-ton capacities and 1/600 of the size of a lake loop."
"It suspends itself harmlessly within the lake water anchored with a 100-pound ball of which only the bottom four inches is in contact with the lake bottom," he said
"The heat pumps sip electrical energy to power a compressor, circulating pumps and control circuits."
The unit, said Newton, contains approximately 30 litres of propylene glycol heat exchange fluid, compared to a loop system, which contains approximately 300 litres of heat exchange fluid.
According to Gareth Goodchild, senior habitat biologist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, propylene glycol is the preferred heat exchange fluid for environmental, health and safety reasons, as opposed to methanol, ethyl alcohol or Freon, which are unsafe for fish and fish habitats.
With a footprint of less than one square foot, Newton argues that the unit has a far lesser impact on the environment than does a map or loop system situated on the bottom of a lake.
"There have been major improvements in the design and construction of geothermal heat pumps," said Newton. "There have also been improvements in loop exchanger design."
A permit is not required by the Ministry of the Environment to install a lake loop, however, a document outlining best practices and regulations has been put into place and can be found on the MOE website.
During his tenure with the DFO, which exceeds 20years, Goodchild says he has yet to deal with a negative issue as a result of a geothermal lake loop.
Established to handle any environmental emergencies, whether it be a spill to air, land or water, or a drinking water incident, the MOE emergency response is built around the Spills Action Centre (SAC) that provides a provincewide, 24-hour service for reporting and responding to emergencies.
SAC triggers a response by MOE emergency staff anywhere across the province to a reported spill or other emergency, if necessary.
According to a SAC representative, "there has been only one documented spill reported to the MOE related to geothermal lake loops.
"The spill was of approximately 90 litre of glycol/water solution called 'loopanal' to a river. Even though the product has been shows to be non-toxic to the environment, the MOE required the spill to be cleaned up and the cause of the spill to be fixed. The company that installed the geothermal lake loop system carried out the cleanup of the spill and effectively replaced the faulty components causing the spill."
According to Newton, since its release, the Lima-1 has been met with positive reviews and an overwhelming demand.
"Our initial production run sold out," said Newton. "We are now booking orders from Canada and USA for the next production run. We're receiving orders from as far away as Australia.
"We're also pursuing the development of related products including controls and monitoring systems and high efficiency flow pumps."