Red Deer Polytechnic keeps an eye on the development of alternative fuel sources – Red Deer Advocate

From hydrogen to geothermal energy, the Red Deer Polytechnic project manager is keeping a close eye on various innovations that could help power the learning center in the future.

Eryn Beddoes, project manager for infrastructure and facilities engineering, said RDP is strongly committed to eliminating its dependence on hydrocarbons by 2041, which means it is constantly looking for sources of energy. alternatives.

“We’re very aggressively pursuing a path to net zero carbon by 2041. It’s really a goal, not just lip service, so we’re still trying to figure out how to make things as efficient as possible,” he said. -she adds.

The polytechnic school already derives around 60% of its energy from solar energy and combined heat and power.

Beddoes said sunlight is captured by solar panels in student dorms, residence halls and the new Gary W. Harris Athletic Center. RDP’s combined heat and power system relies on a large natural gas-fired engine that captures the heat produced by the process to generate electricity. This heat is then used to supplement the facility’s boiler system, she added. “We use twice the energy of natural gas…”

Window, door and roof replacements are always done in the most energy-efficient way, Beddoes said, and low-power LED lights are installed. But to bring the polytechnic to a position of zero-carbon production in 20 years, it has also studied various alternative energy processes – and is waiting to see which will become most accessible in central Alberta in the years to come. come.

Cleaner-burning hydrogen is being touted as a possible solution to keep Alberta’s economy going as the world gradually moves away from fossil fuels.

Beddoes said this industry is now in its infancy, with many pilot projects underway in the province, so it will be interesting to see what kind of infrastructure and supply will be available five years from now.

Alberta wants to integrate hydrogen into its home energy system by 2030, but there are many challenges, including the high cost of building infrastructure, including how to transport it (the interaction of hydrogen atoms hydrogen and metal would crack pipelines). However, there are also plenty of incentives to overcome these issues due to potential export markets in Asia and Europe.

Beddoes thinks it’s important that RDP stays on the path to a more sustainable future; “We’re trying to make the world a better place and energy is something we all need. We just have to figure out how to be more responsible in our use of it.

Red Deer College

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