Who would have ever guessed that our short video about an energy efficiency innovation installed at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, would become the most popular video on our site! Passively absorbing heat from the sun, the solar wall is another example of great Canadian environmental technology. But really, why the interest in it? I have no clue at this moment.
While reviewing recent postings to our site, I came across a question from a view of the solar wall piece wondering why the exchange duct between the solar wall and the intake to the information centre was outside and not-insulated. He suggested that this would result in a significant heat loss and induce an un-necessary inefficiency into the system.
Good point! I thought, so I contacted Desmond Raymond who is featured in the video and who happens to be Parks Canada's Asset Manager. Basically, he's the guy responsible for such things as buildings and all that is required to maintain them. Here's his answer to our user's question:
"With respect to the possible heat loss, the viewer is correct that there will be loss due to the ductwork being non-insulated. However due to the short distance that the air is being transported and the velocity at which it is being moved, the amount of heat loss is minimal and does not pose a major loss for the system.
The solar wall component has worked very well for us on site. The natural gas costs for heating the building have reduced to expected levels. In late fall we have the ability to heat the building for a period on the air collected in the solar wall.
Hope this provides clarification. Anything else let us know."
He also enthused:
"By the way, if you thought the LFG project was interesting, you should see the work we are undertaking for York Factory - riverbank erosion, climate change impacts, historic maintenance practices that we may revive, etc.... All to try and save this site for all Canadians. Many partners from different disciplines and groups: University, Government and First Nations. This thing just screams interesting and important.
And Prince of Wales Fort. A static dynamic structure in a remote environment. Conventional engineering combined with old school masonry work, climate change, drainage issues, etc.... As unconventional a project as you can get.
Also we did a green power/water and wastewater system at the Nester 1 research camp in Wapusk NP. We are producing renewable power and providing water and wastewater treatment to a level equal to most municipalities at as site in the middle of the Park and off the grid."
Is this guy proud of what the agency has done in this area of environmental protection or what?
He included these pics as well.