One of the unique concepts of this project is the installation of an experimental heat sink storage. The Ecosmart house will have three thermal solar panels for generation of the domestic hot water needs and supplemental use of the radiant heating demands. Once hot water needs are met, the excess hot water generated from the thermal solar panel in the summer will be directed into a heat sink located on the southwest corner of the house buried 10 feet below the concrete deck of the front patio slab.
The heat sink comprises four zones of 1-inch PEX piping laid in runs of approximately 400 feet each, placed in a loop configuration on top of sheet foil insulation. The loop field was encased in 1 foot of grout. The heat sink then was backfilled with 98 percent compacted road mix base material within the ICF walls, and topped with rigid insulation prior to pouring the exposed concrete patio deck.
The heat sink has sensor monitors located at various heights, as well as temperature and flow sensors to document the benefits of this concept and measure the contribution of the heating requirements for the winter months.