Seasonal storage: using the summer sun to warm a neighbourhood in winter

Cornu, Charly and Hadorn, Jean-Christophe and Monnard, Michel and Pahud, Daniel and Commend, Stéphane (2011) Seasonal storage: using the summer sun to warm a neighbourhood in winter. In: World Engineer's Convention WEC 2011, 4-9 September 2011, Geneva, Switzerland.

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The developers of real-estate projects in Geneva’s Florence and Champendal neighbourhoods want to heat the 61,050 m2 of floor space in their new residential buildings and produce domestic hot water using a minimum of fossil-fuel energy. The solution, for which a feasibility study is now underway, provides for storing summer heat on site for use in winter. It incorporates thermal solar collectors, daily storage in water, a seasonal ground storage reserve, and about 0.5 km of remote heating network. The goal is to have solar energy cover 75% of the heating needs. The buildings meet Minergie® standards. Each uses solar energy to produce domestic hot water, and has a backup gas boiler. So the buildings can operate independently, or connect to the neighbourhood’s solar heating system. Additional collectors are located on the flat roofs of a neighbouring school. The estimated cost for the solar facility is 135 CHF per m² of heated floor surface. To provide heat at a cost equivalent to that of a gas boiler at current prices, a subsidy equal to 40% of the investment is needed. If the cost of energy doubles, the subsidy will be unnecessary.

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