In southern Australia, dairy farming is an important part of the local economy. And just like their counterparts in other parts of the world, dairy farmers in the region are looking for cost-effective ways to meet their hot water needs while still maintaining an emphasis on sustainability and protecting the environment.
Earlier this year, dairy farmers Doug and Lyn Crosby found just the system they were looking for. It is an evacuated tube solar collection system tied to a heat exchanger to provide all the hot water needed to clean their dairy equipment.
The Crosby’s installed the system in hopes that it could save them at least a little bit on their monthly energy bills. They were astounded to discover it actually saved them an incredible 72%. At that rate, expect the solar thermal collection system to pay for itself within 2.5 years.
How it Works
The system installed by the Crosby’s is remarkably similar to Solar America Solutions’ SunQuest 250 system. It utilizes a solar thermal collector panel mounted on the roof of the farm’s main barn. The collector panel is made up of 32 evacuated tubes employing an absorption material that collects energy from the sun.
The heat from that absorption material is sent into a heat pipe and then circulated through a heat transfer liquid. The liquid runs directly to a heat exchanger, which heats the water needed by the farming operation. The entire system is incredibly efficient.
The two most important aspects to note about evacuated tube solar collectors are:
- Absorption Material – Evacuated tube solar collectors like the SunQuest 250 are superior to their flat plate cousins because of the absorption material used, the lack of heat loss back into the atmosphere, and their efficiency in using the sun’s UV rays instead of its infrared rays. And because ultraviolet rays penetrate cloud cover and are not impacted by the outside temperature, direct sunlight is not needed.
- Vacuum Principal – Solar thermal collector tubes from Solar America Solutions are designed as dual-tube systems. In between the two tubes, we create a vacuum for maximum efficiency. This vacuum virtually eliminates heat loss back into the atmosphere, a key factor in their 94% efficiency.
The SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panel is ideal for commercial applications because of the massive amounts of heat they generate. Because our system is fully scalable, larger buildings and manufacturing processes can benefit from Solar America Solutions products.
Just last year we installed a three-panel system at a poultry farm in Ohio. The owners of the farm wanted it to replace aging boilers and supplement heat for the hot water they needed for their egg washing operation. Not only did the system supply all of their hot water needs, it proved so efficient the farm is adding a second system when they expanded later this year.
Evacuated tube solar collectors are the perfect solution for hot water and space heat in just about any environment. Solar America Solutions is proud to be part of this exciting industry; we would love to show how we could help you.