Creation of the first experimental solar cooling plant in Canada


Photo credit : Mathieu Larouche

Sherbrooke |03-11-2016

Resulting from the collaboration between the consortium of Rackam-Leprohon and CanmetENERGY-Varennes, a solar power plant coupled to an ejecto-compression system was commissioned on November 3, 2016.

This power plant, which produces heat and cooling from solar energy, is installed on the roof of the CanmetENERGY building in Varennes. It is connected to the building to supply part of the heating and cooling needs. It will also be used to continue research on improving the performance of this technology.

The technology in question based on a field of parabolic solar concentrators developed by Rackam, which are coupled with the ejecto-compressor technology developed by CanmetENERGY. The heat from the active solar field activates the ejector-compressor, which then in turn activates the cooling circuit. Through this demonstration project, different configurations will be tested in order to optimize the use of ejectors in a solar power plant.

For this project, Rackam was the designer and manufacturer, while Leprohon acted as prime contractor and installer. CanmetENERGY was responsible for the design of the ejector system which when activated by solar energy, allows for air conditioning.

"For over 10 years, CanmetENERGY in Varennes has been conducting research on the applications of ejectors that use refrigerants to reduce the energy intensity of refrigeration processes for commercial and institutional buildings as well as for the industrial sector. Collaboration with Rackam to develop solar cooling systems with ejectors therefore made sense. In addition, this framework is consistent with the Government of Canada's mission to support Canadian industry and to develop energy efficient technologies that use renewable energies. "

Sophie Hosatte-Ducassy, Director of the Buildings Group at CanmetENERGY-Varennes