As a company that is both financially and personally invested in the future of solar thermal energy production, Solar America Solutions is always interested in domestic and international news that demonstrates our industry is moving forward. One such piece of news is a recent announcement by the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREE) of plans to begin an online training course for solar water heater quality assurance. The RCREE is an independent organization with a mission of advocating for the adoption of efficient energy practices and renewable energy systems in the Arab region.
Its new online program provides candidates with the necessary training to qualify for certification under a number of different initiatives, including the Solar Heating Arab Mark and Certification Initiative (SHAMCI). The seven-module course is intended to be self-paced but completed in about three weeks. Successful candidates will be fully competent in solar thermal installation and certification. Each module is followed by an online test; completion of all seven modules automatically generates a certificate.
Why This Is Important
The renewable energy sector has discovered what the computer technology sector discovered back in the 1990s: certification and standards remove trade barriers, promote better quality in both manufacturing and installation, and provide end-users with the best products at the best prices. Organizations such as the RCREE now understand that introducing certified training and standards will contribute to furthering the solar thermal industry in the Arab region.
Why is this important to us in the United States? Because our training and standards, though they do exist, are far from what they need to be. Watching and learning from other countries will enable our industry to do a better job of redefining what our training and standards ought to be. That will only be good for the industry.
It is also important in light of the fact that the development of training and standards show that solar thermal technology is making significant inroads into renewable energy systems. If solar thermal were not catching on, there would be no need to develop training programs and standards. The fact that the RCREE and other international bodies are pursuing training for official certification clearly indicates they believe solar thermal will continue to expand.
Solar Thermal in the U.S.
America is at a slight disadvantage compared to other countries around the world inasmuch as we tend to be a lot more cautious about adopting renewable energy sources. Where solar thermal is concerned, the industry has certainly made enormous strides over the last 5 to 10 years. We hope to make even bigger strides over the next decade.
Solar thermal is an excellent option for space heating and hot water due to its high-efficiency and output. As we have demonstrated in a number of our projects, a strategically deployed solar thermal collector array can generate enough energy to supply the average commercial building with more than 60% of the hot water and space heat it requires. The secret to our success is our industry-leading SunQuest 250 evacuated tube solar collector panel.
The SunQuest 250 captures ultraviolet energy from the sun in an evacuated tube that prohibits nearly all energy loss. That energy is then transferred to a thermal liquid that is sent to the interior, where a heat exchanger extracts it before the thermal liquid returns to the collector panel. Extracted energy is used to heat water and produce space heat.
The development of training and standards demonstrates solar thermal is here to stay. It is time for you to consider getting on board as well.
- Solar Thermal World – http://www.solarthermalworld.org/content/mena-first-online-training-program-solar-water-heaters-certification