ZEBx: Tech Demo Series – A Thermal Battery for Domestic Hot Water 

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Tech Demo Series – A Thermal Battery for Domestic Hot Water 

Past Event: Apr 14, 2023


This Event

This Tech Demo workshop featured Small Planet Supply, a two-time recipient of CleanBC’s Building Innovation Fund, and was hosted at their workshop. In addition to their drop-in, CO2-based WaterDrop domestic hot water heat pump system for large buildings, they showcased an innovative way to store energy using a phase change material instead of the traditional hot water tank. This method has the potential to store twice the energy that can be stored in water. There was a live experiment which uses the same phase change material for a domestic hot water swing tank (required for buildings with hot water recirculation lines and heat pump water heating), and there was also an opportunity to find out more about their latest product – the Fresh-r HRV from the Netherlands. It’s a high-efficiency, Passive House-certified, ductless HRV that’s ideal for existing buildings.


Albert Rooks, CEO, Small Planet Supply

Albert Rooks has been passionate about energy efficient construction since 2009. He worked to establish and strengthen the Passive House Standard in North America. In 2010 he founded Small Planet Supply Inc., in Washington state. Featuring both a physical warehouse location and an online store, the company initially imported and distributed passive house components, including building tapes, membranes and mechanical systems. Realizing the need for builder education in using new products, the company began hosting educational workshops to increase designer and builder confidence in including these high-efficiency products in their builds. In 2016, Small Planet Supply opened a Vancouver, Canada location to provide products and training in response to Vancouver’s Greenest City Initiative. Albert’s current focus includes procurement, development, and production of high-efficiency mechanical systems for the North American market, including WaterDrop systems

Hayes Zirnhelt, Principal Consultant, Whole Systems Energy Consulting

Hayes Zirnhelt is the principal consultant at Whole Systems Energy Consulting, and is focused on accelerating decarbonization of the building sector. He works with governments, non-profits, and private companies to support the development and deployment of innovative technologies and design approaches that support building decarbonization.

Hayes is a registered Professional Engineer in BC, an ASHRAE Building Energy Modelling Professional, and has a Master’s degree in Building Science. He has well over a decade of experience working on cutting edge efficiency and decarbonization projects across North America and internationally. Hayes serves as a technical expert and reviewer for technology prizes and accelerator programs, and zero carbon feasibility studies for districts and individual buildings, for clients such as RMI, NYSERDA, PNNL, Third Derivative, and the Clean Fight.

Hayes led the PCM research, modelling, and initial design for Small Planet Supply’s prototype PCM heat pump water heater.