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Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Mount Engadine Lodge is a natural haven for those looking to get away from it all. Encompassing two buildings, 8000 square feet, 19 guests + staff, and all the typical fixtures of a commercial kitchen and hotel, the energy requirements are substantial.

Mount Engadine Lodge is completely self-sufficient for electricity and heating, relying exclusively on diesel and propane for this purpose. Electricity was provided by two 50 kW continuous-duty diesel generators operated in 10 day rotations. Heating is provided primarily by two propane furnaces with an assortment of electric heaters throughout.

September 2007
EA was contracted to conduct an energy audit & recommended retrofit measures. It became quickly obvious that the lodge's mechanical and electrical systems were designed without any consideration to energy efficiency or the ongoing operation costs. The lodge was burning approximately 10,000L of diesel per month and the financial drain was formidable.

EA's recommendations:
• Install high efficiency lighting such as LED and Florescent to replace resistive lighting.
• Retrofit of all electric resistive heating loads. As this site was not recovering waste heat from the generators, approximately 60% of the energy of the fuel was immediately wasted in heat (exhaust and radiator), thus making those little heaters incredibly expensive to operate. Using electric heaters from diesel-generated energy is an incredible waste. Burn the diesel for heat directly and use 30% of the energy.
• Conversion of electric heated hot-tub to alternative such as propane, solar thermal, heat recovery from generator, or combination thereof.
• Installation of hybrid battery/inverter/generator system to allow the generators to shut down during periods of low demand.
• Replace generators with more suitably sized units (these units had at least 2.5x the capacity required).
• Replace the 25 year old propane furnaces with modern high-efficiency units.

December 2008
In mid-December EA was contacted. One of the sites main generators has died, they have a lodge full of guests for the holidays, and was time to move ahead with the system upgrade proposal. Time was tight and we wasted no time. Calling on the resources of Gary and Pat from Kent Machinery, one of EA's certified installers, we set forth to start the first stage of the operation, and install a smaller generator. A Yanmar D23 diesel generator was selected for this job. We left the single still working 50 kW Cummins unit in place as backup.

January 2009
Installation of the hybrid system was completed. Materials List:

• 3 x SMA Sunny Island 5048 inverters, for a total of 15 kW continuous duty 208VAC 3-phase power.
• 16 x East Penn L16 batteries
• SMA Webbox to allow remote datalogging and system control
• Extension of existing wireless internet system to blanket the entire site including the generator shed.
• Retrofit of some lighting loads.

System operation is simple and automatic. During periods of low electricity demand, the system will switch to battery/inverter mode and shut the generator off. When the load increases or the battery voltage becomes low, the generator is automatically started. It will then run the loads in the lodge and charge batteries at the same time.

There's still work to be done on this project. Energy efficiency measures are required to get the best value of the system. There are assorted timed loads that need to be fine-tuned so they aren't running during the generator off times. The owners have been empowered with system performance data and we will work together over the next few weeks to refine the operations of the system to get the best value from the hybrid system.

May 2009

The client has completed many of the energy efficiency upgrades. By manually powering off the effluent treatment plant at night, the system is able to silence the generator typically 8 hrs per night. In the morning, once the lodge starts up, the generator will run for 4-5 hours before going back to battery. The number of daily cycles varies according to the number of guests.

75% Fuel Savings

We are still waiting for time to have to fill up the main tanks, but our estimates based on levels compared to normal show that the hybrid system is using approximately 75% less diesel fuel than the generator-only solution! We are very pleased with that result

Contact Energy Alternatives - (250) 846-9888 • Smithers, British Columbia Canada V0J 2X2
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