Research Projects and Publications

Alternative Heating Systems for Northern Remote Communities

  Author: Evelyn Gunawan                                                                                                                                  Year: 2019                                                                                                                                              Supervisors: Jasmin Raymond, Nicolò Giordano, Juliet A. Newson, Páll Jensson


Geothermal energy, through the utilisation of ground source heat pump (GSHP) has been proposed as a heating alternative to the low efficiency and environmentally adverse diesel furnaces currently being used to meet residential heating demand in Nunavik, a cold and remote region covering the northern third of Québec, Canada. This study describes the application of the G.POT method, developed by Casasso and Sethi (2016) to create maps of the shallow geothermal potential in Kuujjuaq, the largest village in Nunavik. Resulting maps show a relatively high potential for such cold region, ranging between 5.8 MWh/year and 22.9 MWh/year for borehole heat exchanger lengths of 100 m to 300 m. 50-years life-cycle cost analyses of such geothermal systems reveal that compression GSHP with electricity derived from solar photovoltaic panels costs as low as CAD$0.15/kWh and forms the most economically attractive heating option in Kuujjuaq as compared to the diesel furnace heating currently used at CAD$0.21/kWh. Studies focusing on the applications of GSHP in subarctic conditions are currently limited and hence, this work is expected to fill in this gap.