Solar power will help SickKids hospital meet domestic hot water needs
TORONTO, ONT-A new solar panel system currently being installed on the Hospital for Sick Children's Atrium roof will supplement the hospital's hot water heating system and will make SickKids home to Canada's first hospital-based solar thermal energy site. The installation is being carried out by Mondial Energy, with completion expected by the end of this month. Ninety-two solar panels (thermal collectors), mounted on pre-engineered racks bolted to the hospital roof, will gather the sun's energy and transfer it to storage tanks via a heat exchanger. The storage tanks, which have a total volume of 480 gallons, will allow the system to continue to collect solar energy when building demand for hot water is low. In turn, the collected solar energy can then be used at times of peak usage when the sun is not necessarily shining. Conventional water heating systems will remain on-line for use on cloudy days. Under the ten-year fixed price contract, Mondial will cover the solar project construction costs and will pay for, own and maintain the solar thermal panels. In return, SickKids will purchase solar thermal energy at a fixed price from Mondial, who will meter the energy delivered to the hospital's domestic hot water system and enable SickKids to monitor its energy use in real-time. SickKids and Mondial expect to offset over 750,000 pounds of steam per year from the installed solar panels.