Solar power and solar thermal hot water
In Hot Water
Heat & Power
Help the environment Gain independence from utility grid, be self-reliant Find peace of mind Make a statement about your values … Save some money?
So … is solar right for you?
But, take just a moment to consider …
For every $1 you spend on making your home more energy efficient, you can reduce your solar purchase by $3.
What to consider before solar?
1. Home construction techniques
Use alternatives to “stick-built,” such as ICFs (insulate concrete forms) or SIPs (structurally insulated panels)
2. Energy saving appliances:
For example: ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator models use at least 15% less energy than required by current federal standards, and 40% less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.
3. Efficient lighting
Fluorescent light bulbs:
Save $25 in energy costs over the life of each bulb Last 6 times longer than incandescent bulbs Consume 2/3 less energy
LED lighting: LEDs are where compact fluorescent bulbs were just a few years ago.
This 1.3-watt LED bulb costs about $35 and lasts 6,000 hours
The sun produces two types of energy:
Converts sunlight to electricity Converts sunlight to heat
There are two types of power systems:
Uses for stand-alone power
When utility power is not available, such as at a cabin site or remote ranch When power bridging is required (such as during power outages) When there is a desire to store power (a desire for independence)
Operate in parallel with and are interconnected with the electric utility grid Allow you to collect a credit for electricity when you produce more than you use (this is called net metering) May or may not have battery backup
Solar hot water: A more accessible and affordable approach to solar energy
Two types of solar hot water collectors:
Vacuum tube panels Flat plates
Flat plate panels
Flat-plate panels are less costly, but more panels are needed.
Wahweap campground shower/laundry facility
Flat plate panels are basically an insulated box with a glass cover; copper or aluminum fins collect the heat, which is delivered to the storage tank by circulating fluids.
Evacuated heat tube panels
Evacuated tube technology is the most efficient, able to gain higher temperatures and still have good heat production under light to moderate cloudy conditions. A typical house with 4 people would require 1 30-tube panel. No water goes through the tubes themselves.
Here, mounts for evacuated tube panels are installed on the roof of a S. Utah home. The panels will heat all domestic water for this home, and supply the heat for most of the radiant floor. Any extra heat will be dumped in the hot tub.
Uses for solar-heated hot water
Radiant floor heat Domestic hot water Swimming pools/hot tubs Snowmelt
Radiant floor heat
Concrete floors provide an excellent storage medium, so a large solar storage tank is not needed.
Domestic hot water
Flat-plate panels create hot water for showers for visitors to the campground at Snow Canyon State Park.
PEX for radiant snow melt being installed on a driveway at Suncrest above Draper. Snowmelt is closed-loop system, circulating glycol, just like a solar system.
This pool is located at 7,000 ft in the Ogden Valley,and reached 80 degrees in May.
What you’ll need inside your home for your solar hot water system
Here, the solar storage tank rests next to the water heater
At this off-grid cabin, the power system and the heating (radiant floor) systems share a closet.
Solar power and thermal on the job
Backup power system for KRCL radio’s broadcasting hub in Salt Lake City
Large off-grid strawbale estate in Colorado; Thermomax mounts can be seen at right. The solar thermal includes 4 Thermomax evacuated heat tube panels, producing about 200,000 BTUs a day.
The Gunnison Municipal Swimming pool boasts 48 panels, which heat the water to 86 degrees. 90% of the heating for this pool will be created by these solar panels year round, at 83 degrees
Wahweap laundry/shower center Lake Powell, 24 panels
Grid tied system in Cache Valley
The homeowner is a spunky 85-year-old woman
Bigelow home in SLC, remodel of older home; two collectors look like the skylights below.
Andrade home, Mill Creek area
8 flat plate panels; Handles all domestic water, heat
Seven solar collectors provide all this radiant heat for this Wanship home
Cabin in the Monte Cristo area
Power box under the porch houses the inverter
Cabin near Ant Flats, Weber Co.
Panels are pole mounted
Bivan home in Park City uses evacuated tube panels
Roberts home, Montpelier, ID, uses flatplate panels
Grid-tied solar power system in Pleasant View
A Sunny Boy inverter and disconnect are part of equipment for this simple grid-tied solar power system
Evacuated tubes provide heat for a Sedona, AZ, home
Flat plate panels heat a pool in New Harmony
8 flat plate collectors provide heat for In Hot Water shop in Eden
An isolated cattle ranch is powered by solar near Logan
Deer Creek Reservoir
Solar powers an isolated station for Qwest
The same wireless relay station, disguised as a rock!
Helpful web links:
www.seia.org (Solar Energies Industries Association) www.nrel.gov/docs/fy01osti/30178.pdf (a PDF brochure on hot water heating) http://alpha.fsec.ucf.edu/Solar/TESTCERT/COLLECTR /tprdhw.htm (an independent comparison of solar thermal panels, Fla. Solar Center) http://www.solar-rating.org/ (Solar Rating and Certification Corp.) www.ncsc.ncsu.edu/ (North Carolina Solar Center)