Healthy Homes and Communities: A look at ANTHC Rural Energy Initiative heat recovery projects | Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Healthy Homes and Communities: A look at ANTHC Rural Energy Initiative heat recovery projects

June 30, 2017

Providing clean water and sewer for remote communities with no road access in extremely cold climates presents unique challenges, including exceedingly high energy usage and high energy costs. ANTHC’s Environmental Health and Engineering division’s Rural Energy Initiative develops and implements alternative energy retrofits in rural community water systems to address these issues. Through partnerships with rural communities, funding agencies and utility companies, ANTHC’s Rural Energy Initiative develops heat recovery systems that transfer excess heat from local power plants to public water systems, washeterias/water treatment plants, clinics, and community buildings. The Rural Energy Initiative worked with the communities of Quinhagak, Emmonak and Noorvik to install the heat recovery energy systems for their local water systems. These projects combined are expected to reduce annual heating oil consumption by 49,000 gallons, thereby reducing heating oil expenses by $197,000. Heat recovery systems designed and constructed by ANTHC allow remote communities to transfer excess heat from the local power plant’s generators to critical infrastructure’s hydronic heating system rather than using expensive heating oil. Specifically, the excess heat is piped through a heat exchanger in the local power plant and transferred to a recovered heat loop and pumped into buried or insulated pipe to the end-user facility. This results in substantial cost savings for both utilities and lowers the overall cost of health care and promotes sustainable health care infrastructure. Seven other heat recovery system projects are planned through 2018. ANTHC’s Rural Energy Initiative is also looking at existing heat recovery systems to see if there is potential to expand or improve them, furthering the energy saving benefits for rural communities. Read about the Noorvik heat recovery project here: Heat recovery project completed in Noorvik. ANTHC’s Rural Energy Initiative believes basic sanitation should be efficient, sustainable and affordable. Learn more about the Rural Energy Initiative at

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