TORONTO — Grundfos donated three energy-efficient circulators to Team Ontario’s eco-home entry for the U.S. Department of Energy’s biennial Solar Decathlon competition Oct. 3 to Oct. 13 in Irvine, Calif.
Team Ontario, which comprised students from Carleton University, Algonquin College and Queen’s University, spent the past 18 months designing and building ECHO, an ultracompact, net-zero energy, solar-powered home, for the competition. The entry won first place in the engineering portion of the contest, which takes into account each home’s functionality, efficiency, innovation, reliability and documentation.
"We are proud to support Team Ontario’s efforts in sustainable building," said Simon Fedemma, president of Grundfos Canada. "ECHO will help raise awareness for the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits of clean-energy solutions."
ECHO used a Grundfos MAGNA 32-60, as well as two constant speed circulator pumps, to ensure that the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system runs as efficiently as possible. The students chose Grundfos pumps for the project because their variable speed capabilities optimize system control over a broad range of heating and cooling demands. Their extremely high efficiency helps the team’s overall objective of reducing energy consumption in the building, and the pump data provided by the MAGNA helps ensure that the system is continuously operating as intended.
"The MAGNA pumps are a fantastic application for our integrated mechanical system as they enable us to change the flow rate for our heat pump loops at will," said Portia Murray, a member of Team Ontario. "We are able to improve the coefficient of performance on our heat pump system by using the variable speed drives to change the flow rates to the heat pump along with the changing conditions of our system. This allows us to continually reduce the power of our system."
The Solar Decathlon competition consisted of 10 contests designed to gauge how well the homes blend affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and efficiency. The contests included architecture, market appeal, engineering, communications, affordability, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment and energy balance.