Construction on the 8,000-square-foot building addition began in May 2012 and the building will open in Summer 2013. The addition is being built to LEED Platinum standards (like the existing building) and will go entirely off fossil fuels. Heating combines an innovative solar hydronic system with 10,000 gallons of seasonal thermal storage and a high efficiency pellet boiler.
This report looks at the potential of using air source heat pumps in Southeast Alaska. It includes a literature review, interviews with installers, distributers, and ASHP owners, an inventory of existing ASHPs in Alaska, and models of the cost and heating capacity compared to other heating sources.
ASHPs take heat from the outdoor air and use electricity to raise the temperature. Because they require less electricity than electric heating appliances, heat pumps could reduce heating costs for such residents. Southeast Alaska is a good candidate for ASHPs because of its milder climate and access to affordable hydroelectric power.
Thermal storage, or heat storage, could include water storage tanks that allow residents to increase the firing time on an outdoor wood boiler so they can burn more efficiently; a storage tank for an electric heating system to enable off-peak power use; storing heat gathered from solar panels in the ground during the summer for a heat pump to extract in the winter; and many other forms. This report looks at the potential of thermal storage systems to enhance the use of renewable heating systems in cold climates and improve the efficiency of heating systems.
This project looked at ways to use the cold temperatures during Alaska winters to lower the electrical demands of residential refrigerators and freezers. CCHRC partnered with industry to test a prototype of a passive refrigerator/freezer that used electricity only when the outdoor air temperature is too warm to sustain refrigerator temperatures.
The test fridge used 16% less energy over the course of one year than a high efficiency Energy Star fridge. This paper covers the purpose of the study, the performance of the test fridge, and ideas for future research and application of this technology.
Burning dry wood produces fewer PM 2.5 emissions and more heat energy, a benefit to both homeowners and all borough residents. CCHRC completed a study on multiple wood storage methods to see how long it takes to fully cure firewood (to a moisture content of 20% or less). The study confirmed that cutting, splitting, stacking, and covering wood for a single summer will result in dry wood by winter-time. When split and stored over the summer, firewood took only 6 weeks to three months to cure. Wood that is unsplit or uncovered, however, will take much longer to dry. Under no storage scenario does firewood harvested in the fall cure by winter-time.
This snapshot covers the study results and includes tips for harvesting and preparing firewood.
CCHRC in Alaska
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