Stapletons Solar Hot Water Case Study

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					                            Case Study
                            Commercial Solar Water Pre-heating System
                            Stapleton-Spence Packing Company

                            A California food processor saves thousands of dollars in annual water
                            heating costs using FAFCO’s solar thermal system. It is the largest solar
                            thermal preheating installation in the state and will save more therms
                            annually than any comparable system to date. Yet, the customer’s total
                            investment was only $60,000.

First Year Energy Savings   Problem

$16,500                     Between the orchard and the grocery shelf, prunes and other dried fruit go through
                            a transformation that involves the application of steam heat to rehydrate the dried
Payback in Years            fruit. Stapleton-Spence Packing Company, a leading packer of prune concentrates,
                            purees, juices, nuts, and other dried fruits, uses this process at their dehydration
3.5                         plant in Northern California. Processing and packing over 8,000 tons of dried plums
                            in a year, the company was using roughly 650,000 therms of natural gas annually
Return on Investment        to preheat the water — at a very high cost.


                            Enter Kurtis Carman, president of BCM Construction, and his relationship with
                            Freeman Ford, founder and chairman of FAFCO, Inc., the oldest and largest solar
                            thermal manufacturer in the U.S. Kurtis and Freeman knew they could reduce the
                            facility’s high natural gas consumption with FAFCO’s new solar water pre-heating
                            system. Below are the major components of the installation:

                            ƒ   20,000 square feet of roof-top solar collectors
                            ƒ   13,000 gallon storage tank
                            ƒ   Custom pump and control module
                            ƒ   All polymer piping and fittings

                            Twin pumps circulate a closed loop of heat transfer fluid through the collectors and
                            into the heat exchanger, as well as circulating cold water drawn from the storage
                            tank and heating it in the heat exchanger before returning it to the storage tank.

                            The system has numerous advantages over traditional solar water heating systems

                                       Lower cost                        Corrosion resistant
                                       Freeze protected                  Fully automated
                                       Overheat protected                Lightweight (1 lb. per sq. ft.)
                                   Stapleton-Spence Case Study

                                     Stapleton-Spence              System Cost                         $800,000
                                     Investment                    CSI Rebate                          -$500,000
                                                                   Federal Credit (30%)                -$240,000

                                                                   Net Cost                              $60,000

Resources                          Results

California Solar Initiative        Before the FAFCO installation, a boiler was used to heat well water from              60° Fahrenheit up to steam temperature. With the FAFCO system installed, the
                                   water is now “pre-heated” through the solar thermal system as it comes from the
                                   well and is sent to the boiler approximately 30 degrees warmer, where the boiler
                                   does the remainder of the heating. This dramatically reduced the energy costs,
                                   saving an estimated 37  ,500 therms per year. That’s equivalent to 1 million kWh or a
                                   carbon footprint offset of 1.4 million pounds of CO2.

                                   Stapleton-Spence’s costs were further reduced by generous state and federal
                                   incentives for using solar energy. In fact, the company was the first in California to
                                   earn the maximum rebate of $500,000 from the California Solar Initiative.

                     FAFCO, Inc.
              435 Otterson Drive
               Chico, CA 95928
                  (800) 994-7652

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