Whistler DESS Project Part 2

In our previous post, we discussed the various challenges we encountered during the installation of the District Energy System at Whistler Athletes’ Village.

Cheakamus Crossing Commercial units
Cheakamus Crossing Commercial units

It has been 4 years since the system went online and we are pleased to be able to state that most of the issues have been dealt with. The reliability of the system has greatly improved and, while, breakdowns do still occur, they are now at a rate on par with any typical mechanical heating and cooling system.
We recently conducted a limited survey of home owner energy costs. Average annual consumption was last year was 0.21 GJ/M2/Yr., 25% of the national average published by EnerGuide Canada for row housing for 2007. This places heating cost on par with high efficiency natural gas heating, including fees paid for the DESS service

Residential Units at Cheakamus Crossing
Residential Units at Cheakamus Crossing

Service and maintenance of the DESS has been an issue for some, the typical plumber/ gas fitter have not been trained to service heat pumps. This has resulted in some inflated repair bills, as the untrained technician attempts to change multiple parts in an effort to identify problems.
The refrigeration system has proved to be very reliable. If initially installed properly, it will run for years with little or no maintenance, not unlike a typical household refrigerator. These can run 30-40 years with little or no maintenance; so long that some the utility companies must pay you to get rid of it!
For our company, there have been a tremendous number of benefits from the Whistler DESS project. Lessons learned here are being applied to new DESS systems, resulting in increasingly efficient systems with fewer breakdowns and lower cost. We have outlined these requirements in an Owner’s Project Requirement ( OPR ) document most issues will be dealt with in the Pre-Design Phase. Our commissioning process has steps to measure and verify the requirement and prevent issues from day one.
This Whistler DESS project will save tons of GHG every year. With more sites coming online, the GHG reductions will multiple. This is the type of technology can be applied in many location and is affordable. I would highly recommend considering a DESS system. If you interested in learning more, just send us email.