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Posts tagged ‘solar collector panel’

Indian Project Shows Promise for Solar Thermal Process Heat

A rather extensive project in India designed to measure the cost effectiveness of solar thermal technology for process heat has shown good promise through more than a dozen case studies. The project, known as SoPro India, is a partnership between the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the German Agency for International Cooperation.

SoPro India started with the installation of solar thermal systems at 27 locations around the country. Among them, 15 locations were chosen as case studies for measuring the effectiveness of the solutions in providing cost-effective process heat. The 15 facilities cover different sectors from food processing to textiles to manufacturing.

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According to Solar Thermal World magazine, the case studies demonstrated efficiency of 20% that would lead to a return on investment (ROI) of between two and three years. The ROI can be shorter or longer, based on future energy prices for fossil fuels. Nonetheless, an ROI of three years is pretty standard for solar thermal.

Solar Thermal for Process Heat

The installations we concentrate on at Solar America Solutions tend to be geared toward providing space heat and hot water for commercial buildings. But we have been involved in some process heat installations as well. They are very similar in terms of both theory and practice.

In a process heat installation, our SunQuest 250®™ solar collector panel collects solar energy using evacuated tube technology. That energy is transferred to a thermal liquid that runs through the system and into a heat exchanger where it can be extracted.Harvested energy can then be stored or used immediately for process heat.

The only difference in a space heat or hot water scenario is that the harvested energy is used for different purposes. The process of creating that energy is the same. This is what they are doing in India as well. For example, two of the case studies in the SoPro India project are as follows:

  • Himachal Dairy – The dairy uses a system consisting of a heat exchanger and several collector circuits set up in parallel. A 20% efficiency rating was achieved with very little modification from the original design. However, engineers believe they can boost efficiency as high as 40% by optimizing the flow of thermal liquid on both sides of the heat exchanger.
  • Synthokem Labs – The installation at this facility provides both process heat and hot water. Separate collector fields are used for both, though engineers are thinking of increasing efficiency by combining them into a single circuit.

Solar Thermal World reports that investors are happy with the current 20% efficiency and ROI. As such, there are no immediate plans to modify the systems to achieve a higher efficiency. But 40% is certainly not out of the question. Perhaps the success that SoPro India has demonstrated thus far will motivate engineers to modify current systems and design future installations with a higher efficiency rating.

Solar Thermal for Your Building

Back here at home, Solar America Solutions continues to lead the way in developing effective solar thermal solutions for commercial buildings and industrial enterprises. Our industry-leading SunQuest 250®™ solar collector panel has set performance standards the rest of the industry is working to catch up to. Our panel is capable of output temperatures in excess of 400°F and up to 35,000 BTUs per hour.

A Solar America Solutions system is perfect for commercial buildings because it has an extremely small footprint compared to its high output potential. For more information about how solar thermal can save your commercial building or enterprise money, feel free to contact us.

Sources:

1. Solar Thermal World – http://www.solarthermalworld.org/content/india-process-heat-system-monitoring-shows-fair-performance-room-improvement

San Francisco Plan Will Make Solar Installations a Requirement

We all know that California has a reputation for leading the way in the adoption of new ideas. With that in mind, we are anxious to see what comes of San Francisco’s GoSolarSF project now that the local Board of Supervisors is recommending a permanent solar installation requirement. The Board is urging both the city and county to make permanent a program that requires solar installations on all new builds and any existing properties undergoing significant retrofits.

GoSolarSF was established in 2008 to encourage property owners to choose solar installations using rooftop solar collector panels. The program received a boost in 2014 when government promised to infuse the program with $10 million annually for two years. Since that time, more than $19 million has been invested in incentives for property owners.

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Solar Server magazine reports on its website that the program has already met many of its objectives, a reality partially responsible for the Board of Supervisors recommending the city of San Francisco adopt new solar goals and require solar installations on new builds and retrofits.

What They Hope to Achieve

Assuming the city and county will implement the suggestions put forth by the Board of Supervisors, the question will become one of what they hope to achieve. There are a number of objectives:

  • Reduce the Cost of Solar – Widespread adoption of solar installations in San Francisco has already lowered the price of the technology by as much as 50% compared to what was in place when GoSolarSF was first established. Proponents hope to see pricing continue to drop in the future.
  • Affordable Housing – Because solar installations (particularly solar thermal) significantly reduces energy bills, installing solar equipment in new builds will make housing more affordable. San Francisco sees a lot of benefits here, with large blocks of apartment buildings.
  • Property Values – Proponents of the plan maintain that solar installations increase property values by reducing energy costs. This would be true for both commercial and residential structures.
  • Energy Goals – Requiring solar installations on new builds and significant retrofits will make it easier for the city and county to reach an annual sustainability goals by 2020.

San Francisco’s goals for solar installations may seem lofty in some places, but we have come to expect this sort of thing from California. They tend to see the future of sustainable fuel a lot more quickly than the rest of the country and are much more willing to be proactive about it.

The interesting thing about the Board of Supervisors’ recommendations is that they do not specify what kind of solar installation needs to be installed on future construction projects, only that something is installed to help the city meet its solar goals. Given that freedom, we believe solar thermal will win the day as the most efficient and cost-effective way to use solar energy technology.

Solar thermal is incredibly efficient at collecting energy from the sun and using it to generate heat that can then be used to create hot water, keep interior spaces warm, drive industrial processes, and more. In fact, we are just beginning to understand the seemingly limitless potential for solar thermal energy.

At Solar America Solutions, we are leading the way in solar thermal with our patented SunQuest 250® solar collector panel – the most efficient and cost-effective panel in the industry. The SunQuest 250® is the perfect collector panel for the kinds of installations we expect to see in San Francisco. If you would like to know more, do not hesitate to contact us.

France Sets Its Sights on Large-Scale Solar Thermal Installations

France is a country that has never been afraid to embrace renewable energy sources in everything from individual residential systems to municipal district heating. They have been heavily involved in promoting solar thermal for small-scale installations since 2009, having invested millions of euros in incentives to encourage building owners to embrace the technology. Now the French government is turning its attention to large-scale solar thermal installations in multi-family housing units, hospitals, industrial buildings, and district heating projects.

Like most other countries, France instituted all sorts of incentives when they first embarked on solar thermal promotion years ago. Those incentives led to steady market growth by way of small-scale installations for residential buildings. But the market began leveling off in 2012; it has been in steady decline ever since. According to the French energy agency Ademe, the number of applications for solar subsidies has fallen off in direct relation to a slowdown in home building.

SunQuest 250

Policymakers do not want to see solar thermal lose too much ground in France, so they have developed a new round of incentives that they hope will entice builders and existing property owners to consider solar thermal on a larger commercial scale. They also hope the new incentives will revive optimism in the solar thermal industry and among the public in general.

Solar Thermal for Commercial Buildings

Ademe’s focus on large-scale solar thermal installations is similar to that which we have been doing at Solar America Solutions since our company was established. While there is certainly plenty of room for solar thermal for individual, residential structures, we believe the real impact of the technology is strongest in the commercial sector. Commercial buildings require a tremendous financial investment in heat, especially in northern locales, and heating water is always expensive regardless of climate. Solar thermal makes doing both significantly more cost-effective.

The beauty of solar thermal is its efficiency. Rather than converting sunlight into electricity that is then used to power water and heating systems, solar thermal harnesses solar energy to heat a thermal transfer liquid. That transfer liquid can then be used for a variety of purposes. We most often install our systems to provide space heat and hot water, but solar thermal can also be used to generate industrial process heat as well.

We believe the key to efficient solar thermal installations is the solar collector panel. The more efficient a panel is the more heat it can produce within a contained footprint. That is what our industry-leading SunQuest 250 collector panel is all about.

The patented SunQuest 250 collector panel is the most efficient solar collector panel on the market. It offers 88 ft.² of solar absorption area yet requires a total roof space of just 3′ x 7′ for installation. The combination of high efficiency and a small footprint make it possible to meet 50–60% of your space heat and hot water needs with a modest rooftop installation.

The Future of Solar Thermal

The decision in France to turn their solar thermal attention to large-scale installations for commercial applications is important in that it helps to clarify the future of solar thermal industry. The reality is that the world is driven by economics. What is good for business ends up being good for every consumer as well. Solar thermal will flourish in France, and here as well, when it becomes the norm in commercial buildings.

Solar America Solutions intends to continue doing its part to promote solar thermal as a money-saving alternative to traditional energy sources. We believe the future of solar thermal is bright indeed.

Sources:

  • Solar Thermal World – http://www.solarthermalworld.org/content/france-increases-public-support-solar-thermal

Newly Developed Ink Shows Potential of Solar Thermal

Researchers and executives within the solar thermal industry have long maintained that our technology holds plenty of promise for the future as a source of energy that is not even close to being fully developed. Solar thermal has proved, even in its early stages of development, to be a dependable and cost-effective way to produce heat and energy for a variety of uses. Technological advances will only make solar thermal better in the future. One such example is a newly developed ink from Mexico that improves solar thermal efficiency by as much as 70%.

The conductive ink in question is the product of research being done at the Technological Institute of Lagoon in Mexico. As a three-layer ink capable of conducting heat both rapidly and evenly, the new paint-like fluid has already undergone rigorous testing to measure its effectiveness in heating public swimming pools.

Researchers coated water pipes with the ink at a municipal swimming complex, pipes that circulate the more than 70 million ft.³ of water utilized throughout the features within the complex. The newly painted pipes were able to increase the temperature of the water from 79°F to 98°F using nothing but energy from the sun.

Swimming No Diving Poolside Sign

Results in the lab are even better according to the researchers. An unpainted pipe exposed to the sun generated water temperatures of roughly 104°F in the lab. Coating the pipe with the nanoparticle ink increased the water temperature to 154°, the researchers said. That amounts to a 70% increase.

Practical Applications in the Future

The Institute has already submitted patent applications for their revolutionary new ink. They expect to have it on the market in Mexico in the very near future; the U.S. retail market will likely follow thereafter.

As far as practical applications are concerned, the solar thermal ink will not be very helpful for the kinds of things we do at Solar America Solutions. So why bring it up? Simply to demonstrate that we have barely scratched the surface in understanding the principles of how solar thermal energy creation and transmission work. What we do will only continue to improve as the industry learns more about how solar thermal can be better developed and deployed.

Consider this: if an inexpensive three-layer ink made with polyvinyl, titanium, tungsten, and copper can increase solar thermal production and efficiency by 70%, there must be other ways of improving solar thermal that we have not yet discovered. As powerful as the Solar America Solutions SunQuest 250 solar collector panel is right now, we expect it to be even more powerful in the future. With every bit of research, we are laying the groundwork for additional development that will enable us to do more with far less.

There are plenty of other renewable energy sources that have a place in the market. But most of them are highly inefficient when compared to solar thermal. Such inefficiencies are the very reason sustainable energy sources are nowhere near ready to replace fossil fuels and nuclear. Yet if there is any renewable with the promise of dethroning fossil fuels as the default energy source, it is clearly solar thermal.

Solar America Solutions is proud to be at the cutting edge of this exciting industry. We install solar thermal solutions based on our US Patented SunQuest 250 collector panel to produce space heat, hot water, and process heat for commercial applications. The SunQuest 250 is the most powerful and efficient solar thermal collector panel of its kind on the market, capable of providing more than 50% of the space heat and hot water your commercial building needs.

Sources:

1. Next Big Future – http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/10/conducting-ink-can-boost-solar-thermal.html

3 Reasons States Encourage Solar Thermal Technology

New York State is expanding its successful Solar Hot Water program in order to encourage commercial enterprises to embrace solar thermal solutions for hot water production. An announcement to that effect was recently made by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in advance of additional changes that will take effect in 2016. The state hopes to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and electricity for hot water creation.

Prior to the announcement, the Solar Hot Water program was focused mainly on buildings that utilize electricity to create hot water. However, the program has now been extended to include those that use natural gas, heating oil, wood, and propane. Eligible commercial operations can apply for incentives of up to $150,000 per site for the implementation of approved solar thermal hot water solutions.

A solar thermal hot water solution involves a roof mounted solar collection panel, such as our SunQuest 250, that collects solar energy and converts it to heat through a thermal liquid and evacuated tube design. That heat is then used to provide hot water for the building in question.

New York is just one of the many states willingly embracing solar thermal technology for hot water creation. We believe there are three reasons that so many of them are now expanding their incentive programs to commercial applications:

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1. Solar Thermal Is Clean

The states are committed to reducing the environmental impact of fossil fuels over the next several decades in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In light of that commitment, they understand that solar thermal technology is a clean technology that is cost-effective to use. Encouraging commercial enterprises to produce their hot water using the sun, rather than fossil fuels or electricity, will result in less stress on the grid and a reduced need for fossil fuel generated power generated by fossil fuel.

2. Solar Thermal Is Efficient

One of the main barriers to renewable energy sources is efficiency. For example, both photovoltaic and wind solutions involve a lot of wasted energy. Solar thermal is different in that waste is nearly nonexistent. Our SunQuest 250 solar collector panels are an excellent example. We employ an evacuated tube design that uses almost all over 95% of the energy collected from the sun. The efficiency of our system results in the most amount of energy being used directly for its intended purpose. State leaders know that highly efficient systems are necessary if commercial enterprises are to be convinced to use them.

3. Solar Thermal Saves Money

Last but not least, the states know that solar thermal can save a commercial enterprise a tremendous amount of money. Doing so allows businesses to grow and expand, stimulating local and state economies as a result.

How much money can be saved? That depends on the particular application, but one of our SunQuest 250 systems is more than capable of providing all most of the space heat and hot water a building needs as long as there is adequate roof space to accommodate the collector panels.

The SunQuest 250 is the most technologically advanced solar collector panel on the market. One panel has a solar absorption area of 88 ft2 but requires an area of only 21 ft2 for installation, yet it is capable of producing up to 35,000 BTUs per hour. When combined with our control units, pumps, storage tanks and monitoring devices, the SunQuest 250 can drastically reduce your energy bills.

If you are looking for a solar thermal solution that will pay for itself within 3 to 5 years, look no further than Solar America Solutions. We are ready to deploy the SunQuest 250 for your commercial application.

Sources:

  • Energy Manager Today – http://www.energymanagertoday.com/nyserda-broadens-solar-hot-water-program-0110120/

Exploring Solar Thermal Options for Education

About ten years ago, Southern California’s Santa Monica High School tested the waters of solar thermal technology by installing a solar thermal heater to heat Drake Pool. Now the high school’s leaders are joining with those from other district schools to figure out how to use a substantial amount of bond money to bring districtwide solar energy solutions to fruition. We hope they include solar thermal hot water and space heat in their plans.

Solar thermal technology and education are a perfect fit. We should know, given our successful installation of 10 SunQuest 250 solar panels and peripheral equipment at a 165-bed dormitory at the University of Indianapolis. The reason solar thermal and education work so well together is that they both benefit tremendously.

Educational facilities benefit in that they save money on electricity used to heat water and provide space heating. The school can utilize that money for more important things. Furthermore, a properly designed and installed system from Solar America Solutions can completely pay for itself in less than a few years.

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The solar thermal industry benefits in that education is at the forefront of moving our country forward. Every time a school or university utilizes solar thermal, it is an opportunity to demonstrate to the entire commercial and industrial sectors how beneficial the technology is. A school acts as proof that solar thermal is practical, efficient and profitable.

Moving Forward in California

Getting back to Santa Monica, the local school district will be receiving $180 million as part of a $385 million measure approved by voters several years ago. A number of schools within the district have already been fitted with solar panels, resulting in savings of more than $50,000 during the 2013-2014 school year. Community leaders see no reason they should not move forward with solar at the rest of the district’s facilities.

Solar America Solutions believe that the best strategy in Santa Monica would be to concentrate funding on solar thermal projects that provide space heat and hot water. While Southern California does get an ample amount of sunshine, one of the strengths of solar thermal over other solar solutions is the fact that bright, sunny skies are not required.

Our SunQuest 250 solar collector panel makes use of ultraviolet rays rather than direct sunlight. As you probably already know, ultraviolet rays easily pierce cloud cover on overcast days. That is why it’s still possible to get a sunburn even when skies are not bright blue. Utilizing ultraviolet rays means that our collector panel generates heat energy nearly as efficiently on cloudy days as it does on sunny days.

The other advantage of solar thermal is efficiency. Where photovoltaic electrical conversion is concerned, there is a lot of wasted energy that never makes it to practical use. However, the evacuated tubes utilized by solar thermal eliminate nearly all waste. The energy collected by the tubes is transferred to a thermal liquid to be used for space heat and hot water purposes.

Schools are the perfect platform for solar thermal space heat and hot water because of their needs being concentrated during the daylight hours. In other words, a solar thermal system is working at peak performance at the same time students need hot water and heat. As we said earlier, educational facilities and solar thermal were made for each other.

We hope to see the Santa Monica school district utilize some of their improvement funds to install solar thermal technologies at community schools. It would save a tremendous amount of money while also reducing their reliance on fossil fuel.

Sources:

  • Santa Monica Daily Press – http://smdp.com/solar-power-expansion-talks-heat-samohi/146388

Italy Modifies Incentive Program to Encourage Solar Thermal

It has been almost two years since the Italian government instituted the Conto Termico incentive program to encourage businesses and homeowners to use solar thermal systems for heat and hot water. Since its implementation, the program has seen roughly 7,000 applications. However, government officials say that is far fewer than what they had anticipated. In an effort to increase applications, the government has ordered certain modifications to the program.

To start with, the application process will be simplified in order to require less paperwork from applicants. The program has also been ordered to bring an end to the practice of continually changing application rules. The frequency of the rule changes has led to distrust of the system among both applicants and equipment installers.

The online portal for accessing the program, known as PortalTermico, will be redesigned to make it more user-friendly and accessible. It is hoped that streamlining the online application process will encourage more consumers to apply for the subsidies. Beginning January 1 (2015), subsidies of up to 65% of installation costs will be made available to both commercial and residential customers.

One final change involves program administrators taking a more proactive approach in educating consumers about the benefits of solar thermal and the incentives being offered by the government. Conto Termico has plenty of funding to support significantly more applications than they have received thus far. Officials believe that improving consumer education efforts will help change that.

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Solar Thermal in Italy

The solar thermal market in Italy is very heavily focused on producing space heating and hot water for both commercial and residential applications. While other renewable energy sources are being discussed, Italy is putting a lot more emphasis on solar thermal compared to some of their other European counterparts. The Italian government wants to see a steady increase in the number of solar thermal installations in order to decrease the national dependence on fossil fuels.

Why is Italy so high on solar thermal? For the same reasons we are at Solar America Solutions. Solar thermal energy production is cost-effective, scalable, and highly efficient. It is also very flexible.

For example, photovoltaic energy production converts direct sunlight into electrical current. In theory, the electrical current could be used for nearly any purpose. However, the inefficiency of photovoltaic technology limits its benefits to small-scale residential use because it rarely, if ever, pays for itself by the time it loses its efficiency. Solar thermal is different.

The solar thermal principle is one of using energy from the sun to heat a thermal liquid transfer fluid. That thermal liquid fluid can then be used for a variety of different purposes. Solar America Solutions uses it to produce including space heat and hot water for commercial buildings. Others use it to drive turbines that produce electricity. Still others use it to reduce the power consumption of cooling systems etc.

It is the principle of heating a thermal liquid transfer fluid that allows solar thermal to compete with fossil fuel energy. We believe it is the future of renewable energy production around the world. If you want to be part of that future today, Solar America Solutions can help.

Our industry-leading SunQuest 250 solar collector panel is the most powerful and efficient panel of its kind on the market right now. With an efficiency rating of 94%, a single panel can produce up to over 350,000 BTUs per hour at temperatures as high as 400° F. Our systems have already been successfully installed in prison cellblocks, agricultural operations, education buildings, and more. We would be happy to show you how solar thermal can produce space heating and hot water for you, in your existing building or new construction.

New California Solar Thermal Plant Now up and Running

The world’s largest solar thermal power plant is up and running in California’s Mojave Desert. The plant was officially commissioned this past February (2014), creating enough energy to power 140,000 homes at its full capacity of 392 MW. The power plant is proof that the principle of solar thermal is workable on a large enough scale to be a direct competitor to fossil fuels and other renewable energy sources.

What they are doing in California is similar to what we do at Solar America Solutions. It is not exactly the same, because our solar collection methods are different, but we are both working on the same principle of harnessing energy from the sun to heat a thermal liquid.

In our case, we use our SunQuest 250 solar collector panel to transform the sun’s ultraviolet rays into heat energy. The evacuated tube design prevents almost all heat loss, allowing us to channel more usable energy into generating space heat and hot water for commercial applications. To date we have installed our systems in prisons, educational institutions, agricultural operations, industrial facilities, and more.

 

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The California power plant does things a little differently. Rather than using collector panels, they are using approximately 300,000 mirrors to direct sunlight to one of three water towers. The automatically adjustable mirrors concentrate the sunlight in order to boil the water to produce steam; the steam is then used to drive the turbines that produce electricity.

As effective as this system is, it does have some drawbacks. First of all, a a system that relies on concentrating the sun’s infrared rays is less productive on cloudy and overcast days. Second, the intense heat produced by the mirrors affects both weather patterns and local wildlife. Having said that, the technology is very effective for its intended purpose, demonstrating that the principle of solar thermal can be effectively employed as a renewable energy source.

It’s All about Efficiency

Whether you are talking about a solar thermal power plant using concentrated solar power (CSP) or an individual application using the SunQuest 250 solar collector panel, the key to solar thermal is efficiency. There is no denying the fact that using the sun’s rays to heat a thermal liquid is more efficient and productive than converting direct sunlight into electrical current via photovoltaic (PV) panels. Even the best PV cells only operate at about 20% efficiency whereas the SunQuest 250 achieves 94% efficiency.

The other advantage of solar thermal is that it can be used for so many different purposes. Solar America Solutions focuses on providing space heat and hot water for our clients. However, others have used the solar thermal principle to supply the heat needed for adsorption cooling systems or, on a much smaller scale as compared to the California power plant, drive turbines that produce supplemental electricity.

Solar America Solutions wants to speak with you if you are looking to start using an alternative power source to meet your space heat and hot water needs. Our collector panels can be combined with a series of pumps, control units, and storage tanks for a complete solution for your building. What’s more, our systems are scalable yet very manageable in terms of total area. One collector panel needs an area of just 3′ x 7′ for installation.

A solar thermal solution from Solar America Solutions can pay for itself within 3 to 5 years without government subsidies. If subsidies are available in your area, your savings will be even greater. Why not be part of the solar thermal revolution now sweeping across America? If it works for a huge power plant, it can work for your building as well.

Hawaii Energy Extends Solar Thermal Rebates

This past spring, Hawaii Energy announced a plan to increase consumer rebates in order to entice businesses and homeowners to adopt solar thermal for hot water. Their instant rebate program increased the amount of money consumers can receive from $750 to $1,000. The company said the increased rebates were being offered only for a limited time, but a recent check of their website shows that the higher rebates are still in force.

In order to qualify for the rebate a consumer must purchase a qualifying solar thermal system and have it installed by an approved installer. As an alternative to a direct rebate, consumers can also take advantage of a program known as “Hot Water, Cool Rates.” This program redirects the $1,000 rebate to the lender providing financing. The lender passes it along to the consumer by offering a zero or no interest loan.

Businesses choosing to install solar thermal can take advantage of additional incentives by filling out and submitting an incentive application with Hawaii Energy. Additional incentives are awarded based on a number of factors including energy usage, the size of the business, and so on.

According to Solar Thermal Magazine, heating water with electricity is the third largest consumer of energy in Hawaii’s residential and commercial buildings. Only air-conditioning and swimming pool related power needs consume more. Hawaii Energy wants to encourage business owners and residents to change their power consumption habits by installing solar thermal for hot water needs.

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Solar Thermal for Your Business

It may seem that Hawaii is the ideal location for solar thermal applications due to their ample sunshine. However, the solar thermal solutions manufactured by Solar America Solutions work equally well all over the country. The key is in the construction of our SunQuest 250 solar collector panel. For starters, the SunQuest 250 does not need direct sunlight to work properly. It utilizes energy from ultraviolet rays, which easily penetrate cloud cover, even on overcast days.

Next, the SunQuest 250 is incredibly efficient thanks to the evacuated tube design we use. Evacuated tubes are more efficient per square foot of space than flat-panel collectors are, and are capable of producing higher outputs through less environmental heat loss. Our solar collector panel is one of the best in the industry at 94% efficiency. A single collector panel can produce over 30,000 BTUs at stagnation temperatures of up to 475°F.

Can your business benefit from solar thermal? Probably, but your situation would have to be evaluated based on your needs and the size of your building. Having said that, one of the first and most important projects undertaken by Solar America Solutions was to install one of our systems at an Ohio correctional facility’s eight cellblocks. Our system now provides more than 60% of the space heat and hot water needs for that those buildings. Officials were so pleased that they have asked us to provide additional solar thermal systems for additional facilities.

If solar thermal can work for a prison cellblock, it is certainly worth investigating whether or not it’s appropriate for your business or organization. Solar America Solutions works primarily on applications for the education, healthcare, government, and agricultural sectors, but we are happy to work with any commercial building owner to see if an appropriate solution can be found.

As for Hawaii, they are among many other U.S. states where government and private sector incentives for solar thermal are being offered. Check with your state government and your power company to see if there are incentives that you can take advantage of.