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									 Solar Thermal Power

Solar thermal systems       “One of the most cost-effective ways to include renewable technolo-
provide environmen-         gies into a building is by incorporating solar hot water.
tally friendly heat for
                            A typical residential solar water-heating system reduces the need
household water and
space heating. The          for conventional water heating by about two-thirds. It minimizes the
systems collect the         expense of electricity or fossil fuel to heat the water and reduces
sun’s energy to heat        the associated environmental impacts.”
either air or a fluid. The   - Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
air or fluid then trans-
fers solar heat to your     Solar Heating Devices directly absorb the sun’s
home or water.              radiation with specially-coated absorbers to heat air
(adapted from NREL doc)     or water for use in a building. Solar water heaters
                            can be used in large commercial applications (e.g.
                            hotels or breweries) solar water heaters racked for
                            commercial installation or in attractive, low-profile
                            installations on residences anywhere in the United

                            Solar water heating devices are a relatively simple
                            technology, with well-understood materials and
                            manufacturing. Worldwide, they are extremely preva-
                            lent - anecdotally displacing approximately 6% of annual residential energy consumption in Israel,
                            for instance. Solar heating devices could provide a simple, short-term means of reducing the
                            United States’ energy usage by several percentage points.

                            The largest application of solar water heating to date is
                            likely the 1 million gallon pool used for the 1996 Atlanta
                            Olympics; using a 10,000 square foot solar heating
                            system on this natatorium is estimated to be saving
                            upwards of $12,000 per year in avoided energy costs.

                            Why An 8-Year Extension of the Investment Tax Credit Is Necessary for Solar

                            Growing a market. Similar to other emerging technologies, the cost of Solar Thermal will continue
                            to go down as the market grows. In the early stages of its reemergence, it is crucial that existing
                            manufacturers and installation companies, as well as new entrants to the market, can rely on a
                            long-term federal committment.

                            Environment. Solar thermal is the easiest and most cost-effective way to use renewable energy
                            to displace fossil fuels and their harmful emissions.
    The Technology Today                                                Technology Snapshots
“Since the early 1970s, the                  The Solar Water Heating
                                         Active“Solar Value Chain” includes
efficiency and reliability of solar           jobs in: water heating systems can
                                         Active solar Manufacturing and installa-
                                             tion of photovoltaic which the water
                                         be either “open loop,” in (PV) panels and
heating systems and collectors
                                         to be heated flows directly through the
have increased greatly and costs             solar thermal equipment, engineer-
                                         rooftop collector, or “closed loop,” in which
have dropped.                                collector is fi manufacturing, flat
                                         the ing, plasticslled with an antifreeze
                                         solution that passes through a heat
                                             glass production, copper wire draw-
                                         exchanger mounted in or around your
Improvements to materials, a     normal water heater. (Closed loop sys-
rating system for consumers,     tems can be used anywhere in the US,
and more attractive designs have even in freezing conditions, while open
                                                        drained during
all helped to make systems more loop devices must beDuring the day, in
                                 freezing conditions.)
successful. Low-iron, tempered   good weather, your water can be heated entirely by the sun! In any weather, the heating
glass is now used instead of     system can back up your existing heater, reducing overall energy costs.
conventional glass for glazing.
Improved insulation and durable Passive Solar Water Heating                   A Note On Collectors
selective coatings for absorbers A “passive” system                           In most cases, a properly engineered solar air
have improved efficiency and      combines the solar                           or water heating collector can provide an
                                 collector and storage in                     excellent return
helped to reduce life-cycle      one complete unit                            on investment
costs.”                          separate from the                            for a homeown-
- U.S. Department of Energy,             conventional gas or                             er or business,
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy    electric water heater                           especially as
                                         storage tank. Passive                           natural gas and
                                         system design requires                          heating oil
                                         no pumps or controls                            prices continue
                                         for operation as sun-                           their volatility
                                         light heats water all                           and rising price
                                         day. When hot water is used in the home,        trends.
                                         water from the passive solar storage tank
                                         is drawn into the conventional gas or
                                         electric water heater storage tank, thereby
                                         avoiding the need for electric or gas-fired
                                         heat to turn on. [EPA]
                                         Solar Rating and Certification Corporation
                                         Recognizing the need for a uniform,             recognition and/or reciprocity of the certifi-
                                         national approach for rating and compar-        cation; and a reliable means for judging
                                         ing solar equipment, SEIA and a national        product durability and performance on a
                                         consortium of state energy offices and           relative standard basis.
   Solar Energy Industries Association   regulatory bodies joined together to lay
      (SEIA) is the national trade       the groundwork for such a program. In           • Nonprofit, rates system performance in
      association of solar energy        1980, the Solar Rating and Certification           discrete geographical areas and certifies
                                         Corporation (SRCC) was incorporated as            system designs
        manufacturers, dealers,
                                         a non-profit organization. Its primary           • Addresses system durability, reliability,
       distributors, contractors,
                                         purpose is the development and imple-             safety and operation
          installers, architects,                                                        • Provides assurance for state/utility
                                         mentation of certification programs and
     consultants, and marketers.         national rating standards for solar energy        programs
    We work to expand the use of         equipment.                                      • Approximately 200 individual systems
       solar technologies in the         The SRCC label instills consumers with            currently certified
           global marketplace.           confidence that the technology is valid          • Large increase in applications in 2006,
                                         and that the products will perform in terms       backlog
         805 15th Street, NW             of energy and dollar savings. Solar             • SRCC certification required for residential
              Suite 510                  equipment manufacturers benefit from               ITC!
        Washington, DC 20005             SRCC certification and rating in three
            202.682.0556                 fundamental ways: the ability to have a         For more information on SRCC, visit
            www.seia.org                 product certified only once; national            www.solar-rating.org

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