Juneau District Heating Extracts Heat From the Sea
The Juneau District Heating system takes in seawater from the Gastineau Channel into the District Energy Plant where a network of heat exchangers and the innovative Emerson Seawater Heat Pumps transfer the heat energy from the seawater to high temperature freshwater that is distributed to heat the buildings in Juneau.
There are other high temperature District Heating examples in the United States that heat water to 180°F or higher (i.e. steam at 212°F or higher), but they all burn fossil fuels to create that heat which creates Green House Gasses and other carbon emissions. Juneau District Heating is the first and only District Heating that generates no pollution, no carbon emissions and no Green House Gasses because it burns no fossil fuels…period.
The Emerson patented system of compressors and high temperature heat pumps provide a cost effective and sustainable means to provide heat without requiring costly building retrofits or burning of fossil fuels. Furthermore, the refrigerant used does not affect the ozone in any way and has a zero global warming potential. The seawater heat pump converts the existing Btu’s in “cold” seawater into usable energy at high water temperatures. The system has a Coefficient of Performance (COP) above 300% meaning that for every 1 Btu (converted from kWh) of electricity put into the system to run the system and move the water, it delivers 3 Btu’s of useful heat to the freshwater distribution system.
The Juneau District Heating System is 100% renewable. The heat energy source for the entire District Heating is harvested from the Gastineau Channel where it was originally heated by the sun. In essence, the Pacific Ocean water is a giant solar collector collecting useful heat with a zero carbon load. As long as there is sunshine and seawater, Juneau District Heating can sustainably produce the heat to warm the businesses and homes in Juneau.
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Juneau District Heating – Powered by Nature
Juneau District Heating will be the first District Heating project in North America to use 100% renewable sources for electricity and for the heat source. Virtually all district heating systems in North America use the burning of fossil fuels to create the centralized heating supply and use electricity from a variety of renewable and fossil fuel sources. A synergistic innovation of Juneau District Heating is that the electricity needed to operate the heat pumps and compressors all comes from a completely renewable and carbon free energy source – The Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Facility. Hydropower is renewable and self sustaining. Seawater heated by the sun is renewable and self sustaining. Juneau District Heating system converts usable seawater heat using renewable hydropower electricity to produce clean, sustainable and efficient heating…all powered by nature to create value added renewable energy.