0 Active Solar
About the Canadian Active Solar Thermal
Canada’s solar industry is an innovator in the active solar thermal field. It provides a broad
range of scalable and versatile technology products, and an array of design, assessment
and installation services that include:
0 Turnkey solar heating systems for various commercial, industrial, institutional and residential applications;
0 Solar collectors for domestic and commercial water heating;
0 Solar air collectors for space heating and ventilation applications;
0 Solar air heating systems for crop drying and other industrial applications;
0 Solar pool heating systems for residential, commercial and institutional applications;
0 Solar water heaters for year-round use, even under extreme cold weather conditions.
What Is Active Solar Thermal Energy?
Energy from the sun is free and abundantly available in all populated areas of the world. This essentially inexhaustible
energy resource can be harnessed or heating and cooling. Active solar air and water heating uses collectors to absorb
the solar radiation. The resulting heat is transferred directly for immediate use (for example, for pool water heating) or
stored for future use (as in the case of domestic and commercial water heating). The efficiency and reliability of active
solar thermal systems have increased greatly over the years. As a result, the quality of systems has improved and the
costs have dropped. Modern active solar thermal technologies warm buildings, dry crops, heat domestic and industrial
water, and cool spaces.
Menova Energy Inc.
Concentrated solar tri-generation — electricity, heat and light.
The Benefits of Active Solar Thermal Energy
Active generation of heat or cooling of spaces with solar energy offers
advantages over traditional approaches.
0 Active solar heating and cooling displaces the use of natural
gas, oil and electricity, as well as the emissions, pollution,
and waste resulting from their production and use;
0 The application of active solar thermal technologies reduces
Taylor Munro Energy Systems / Glenn Brown
greenhouse gas emissions;
0 Active solar technologies save energy and reduce the utility
0 Broad dissemination of active solar thermal systems can
contribute to energy security.
Canada’s Track Record
Through market-driven research and development, Canadian
companies developed highly innovative technologies, which
established them as world leaders in several “green” solar heating Glazed solar collectors for domestic hot water heating installed
on a rooftop.
applications. Canada recognizes the potential in utilizing active solar
energy technologies, focussing its research and development activities toward low-temperature (<60 0C) heating
applications, large-scale seasonal storage, and concentrating solar collectors for integrated heat and power. Market
growth is expected in Canada in the near future.
The Canadian Experience
Canadian companies offer unique, dynamic and cost competitive solar thermal technologies, and expertise. These
companies have established strong reputations as a result of impressive and successful projects, which include:
0 Crop drying systems in Panama, Costa Rica, China and India;
0 Solar air heating systems for industrial, commercial and residential buildings in Canada, Europe, Japan
and the United States;
0 Design and installation of solar water heating systems for hotels, apartment buildings, national parks,
car wash stations and fish aquaculture farms throughout Canada;
0 Solar pool heating systems for recreational centres in British Columbia and Nova Scotia;
0 District solar heating/seasonal storage system for a 50+ home residential community in Alberta.
Glazed flat-plate collectors for hot water at the Vancouver International Airport.
Solar thermal systems for water heating and swimming pools
Swiss Solar Tech
Canadian firms have developed some of the most cost-effective
and reliable solar water heating systems in the world. Canadian
solar water heating technology strengths include:
0 Easy-to-install, off-the-shelf solar water heaters that provide
a clean alternative to gas, electric, oil or propane water
0 Freeze-protected solar water heaters, specifically designed to
operate reliably through the entire year, irrespective of outside
temperatures being either well below freezing or extremely hot;
0 Solar heating systems for large-scale swimming pools. Heat pump for a solar/geothermal hybrid system.
Solar thermal systems for air heating
Canadian companies have developed outstanding technologies and systems. Some of their innovative solutions include:
0 Concentrated solar power collector designed to combine solar heat and power generation in a unit;
0 Solar thermal energy underground storage technology to compensate for the relative lack of sunshine during
the fall and winter seasons;
0 Solar collector mounted on wall faces that can be used for space heating and industrial drying applications.
Why Set Up Operations in Canada?
Canadians support the active solar thermal industry and demand for its products is increasing, with incentive
programs in place at the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government. Canada has established a set of
national standards for active solar thermal equipment, which is maintained by the Canadian Standards Association.
Canada has an active solar thermal testing facility that is recognized internationally. The National Solar Test Facility
is North America’s leading centre for testing and rating solar technologies under controlled sunlight, temperature and
wind. The facility houses one of the world's largest indoor solar simulators.
In the past few years, modern solar thermal technologies have rapidly penetrated the international market. Canadian
sales of active solar thermal technologies should continue to grow at a 20% annual rate over the short term. Drivers for
this strong projected growth include international action on climate change, energy security, demand for improved air
quality and continuing technological advances.
For More Information
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada –
Canadian Solar Industries Association The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service
Industry Canada – Natural Resources Canada –
Canadian Renewable Energy Industry Canadian Renewable Energy Network