9th step - Technologies for saving

Technologies for saving energy

Drain water heat recovery : upcoming section...

Drain water heat recovery system

The drain water heat recovery system consists of a copper drain section around which a copper pipe is wound and moulded. Fresh water from the water system circulating through the copper pipe absorbs heat from the shower water that slides onto the inner wall of the drain before it reaches the water heater. Fresh water is thus preheated on average from 9°C to 26°C. The water heater will therefore use less energy to heat fresh water at the desired temperature. It will also provide hot water for a longer period of time. This system has a service life of 30 to 50 years and requires no maintenance.

Home automation: upcoming section...

Heat pumps: upcoming section...

Geothermal energy

Why install it in your house?

Geothermal energy comes to us from the energy that we naturally find in the subsoil of the earth. Depending on the depth of capture we have access to constant heat of eight to ten degrees Celsius. This heat is available at all times. It is recommended because it is abundant, readily available and does not create additional pollution for its extraction and use. The possibility to use it to heat the house but also the domestic hot water and, by reversing the process in the summer, to air-condition the house make it a source of energy of the most advantageous. For one kilowatt of conventional energy consumed 3 to 4 kilowatts of geothermal energy will be produced for heating.

How does it work?

To use this abundant and free energy, it requires several elements. First of all, wells to get the heat where it is. Then you need a Heat Pump (PAC) to convert the calories from the soil into available heat. And finally, a distribution system of this one with forced air or hot water for the surface to be heated.

To access this heat, you have to drill in the ground of the wells in which you install sensors. These are of two types: horizontal or vertical.

The horizontal sensors are polyethylene tubes of several hundred meters. They are installed in loops buried horizontally at shallow depths (1.80 to 3 metres, or 6 to 10 feet). Depending on the technology used, antifreeze water or refrigerant from the heat pump is circulated. To avoid excessive heat removal from the ground and the risk of permanent freezing of the ground, they are folded in loops spaced at least 40 cm apart. The necessary sensor surface is usually 1.5 to 2 times the habitable surface to heat. For a 1 500 square foot home, the sensor will occupy between 2 250 and 3 000 square feet of the land adjacent to your home.

The vertical sensors, on the other hand, consist of two U-shaped polyethylene tubes installed in a borehole (up to 500 feet deep) and sealed in it by cement. An antifreeze fluid is circulated in a closed circuit. It usually takes one to two 500-foot deep geothermal wells to heat a home.

Vertical wells have minimal ground right-of-way compared to horizontal sensors, so they can be installed almost anywhere, but the type of soil will greatly affect the cost of drilling.

Installation details

For horizontal sensors it is much better to install them when doing the excavation work of the house, this will reduce the costs. The vertical sensors can be made at any time of the work, unless you need to drill for an artesian well, which involves the same drill.

Cost of the system

If the energy source is free, the geothermal energy is complex and more expensive to install because it requires specific interventions and knowledge. So it's important to get advice. It typically takes between $15 000 and $50 000 for a complete system for a 12- to 18-year amortization period in most cases. To ensure its profitability, an adequate sizing calculation is the key.