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BC-based wastewater energy transfer system making inroads in Ontario

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SHARC Piranha
The PIRANHA T15 WET system generates one of the most energy efficient and economical methods for hot water production, extracting the heat, but not water, from buildings before it enters the sewer. Photo credit: SHARC International Systems

A British Columbia-based wastewater energy transfer company has signed a new deal to install its technology to heat water in a new Ottawa housing complex.

The project marks the second PIRANHA system site in Ottawa for SHARC International Systems Inc., which uses its technology to recover thermal energy from wastewater, before it enters the sewer.

Typically, an apartment building spends some 40% of its annual energy bill on heating water. With the wastewater energy transfer, all of the heat (approximately 20ºC) from the hot water used for showers, dishes, and laundry can be recovered, says Lynn Mueller, CEO of SHARC Energy. Its equipment uses the recycled heat energy to pre-heat the water fed to a building’s hot water tank or boiler.

“Ottawa buildings are responsible for approximately 46% of community greenhouse gas emissions and we are proud to support the owners of the housing complex achieve their sustainability goals while helping the city achieve theirs,” Mueller said in a statement.

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SHARC Energy, which began in the geothermal heat sector, is represented in Ontario by HTS Ontario, a commercial HVAC distributor.

“We have many projects in the planning and design phase and we anticipate significant growth in wastewater energy transfer projects,” announced HTS Director of Canadian Operations, Paul Pilutti.

The wastewater heat transfer technology hasn’t yet been scaled down enough to be used in a single-family home. However, the PIRANHA system can be used on a building with as few as 20 units. The larger SHARC system, installed in places such as Vancouver’s False Creek neighbourhood, which hosted the Olympic Village for the 2010 Winter Games, recovers enough heat to warm some 22 million square feet of apartment complexes.

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