Sustainability Journal

April 2012 Issue (files are in PDF format)

The Office of Energy Efficiency of NRCan maintains a database showing the energy sources used in Canada and the GHG they produce, organized by Province:

Generating electricity

An interesting recent development is the production of thermoelectric generators that convert heat into electricity with an efficiency that is comparable to that achieved with "extended geothermal" Rankine Cycle generators. That could make it possible to build HDR systems that would be very compact, extremely reliable, and that use AE technology for seasonal storage and for producing a dual output - for both electricity and heat for space heating.

The thermoelectric generators could be located deep in the ground. Concentrating solar collectors would collect solar power to heat the ground store. Water would be pumped down from the surface to cool the low temperature side of the thermoelectric generators and then the hot water would heat a large volume of ground above the HDR store for use for space heating. It would not be necessary to use heat pumps for space heating or DHW in such systems. Since such stores both operate at relatively high temperatures such systems would need to be large to be viable. A third store could be used to store winter cold so such systems could conceptually supply all of the primary energy needs for buildings: for heating, cooling, DHW and electricity.