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Posts tagged ‘Solar Panels’

Solar Thermal Perfect Choice for Correctional Facilities

Solar America Solutions is proud to have worked with corrections officials  across the country to install solar thermal solutions in various correctional facilities. Our installations have made it possible for corrections departments to save money on their energy bills by harnessing solar energy to provide space heating and hot water. In short, solar thermal is a perfect renewable energy option for correctional facilities.

What we have accomplished is not isolated only to the United States for that matter. Armenia offers an excellent case in point. A recent press release from Armenia’s justice ministry reveals that solar thermal installations have been deployed at seven different correctional facilities in the Eastern European nation.

Cell House

Detailed information about the installations wasn’t made available, but justice ministry officials say that they should save an average of 50% per institution as a result of deploying solar thermal. Along with their report on the installation, Armen Press published a couple of pictures showing solar thermal collector panels installed in rows outside of one of the correctional facilities.

The pictures show four rows of five collector panels each. Though we cannot accurately say what the capacity of each panel is, what we have seen in the pictures looks to be fairly typical for the industry. There is also an image showing the interior mechanics deployed to convert solar energy into space heat and hot water.

Correctional Facilities Offer Great Environment

Solar America Solutions offers solar thermal installations for all kinds of commercial buildings, including office buildings, dormitories, hospitals, and so on. We are especially pleased to be able to work with correctional facilities because they offer an optimal environment to showcase the potential of solar thermal.

By their nature, correctional facilities contain a lot of wide-open spaces that have to be accommodating to the needs of those institutions while still being efficient. Furthermore, the mechanics required to provide space heat and hot water have to fit in confined spaces and be relatively easy to service. Solar thermal provides everything correctional facilities need in a package that generates significant energy savings over time.

Using our own installations as an example, we fitted a 200-bed cell block at Wabash Valley Correctional Institution in Carlisle, Indiana with 15 of our patented SunQuest 250™ solar thermal collectors and the additional equipment necessary to utilize them. Our installation now supplements the hot water and space heat required by the cell block. Our Ohio project is even more ambitious.

In Chillicothe, Ohio we outfitted eight 200-bed cell blocks with 400 patented SunQuest 250™ solar thermal collectors for space heat and hot water. Corrections officials have been extremely pleased with the results of our equipment and installation.

Efficiency and Production

The secret to effective solar thermal is twofold: efficiency and production. Beginning with efficiency, it is fair to say that there isn’t a single energy technology on the planet capable of 100% efficiency. But solar thermal utilizing evacuated collector tubes is very close. Evacuated tubes suffer very little heat loss in the short amount of time it takes to convert solar energy into heat. Our own collector panels are based on an evacuated tube design.

As far as production is concerned, a single Solar America Solutions collector panel can produce up to 35,000 BTUs per hour in a package with a footprint of just 3′ x 7′. Within that small area, we can get just about 88 ft.² of absorption space using 25 evacuated tubes. Our technology has proven to be the perfect choice for correctional institutions.

Sources:

1. Armen Press – https://armenpress.am/eng/news/871429/solar-thermal-heaters-installed-in-correctional-facilities-in-armenia.html

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.

education-solar

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

Solar Matters!

Photovoltaic solar panels as we know them today are not a new invention and have, in fact, been widely used since the 1960s on, among other things, ocean buoys. However, it is only in more recent times that solar thermal collectors have become widely adopted by homeowners and businesses. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, rising energy bills from utility companies have hit many people hard, thus forcing them to seek out alternative solutions in heating so that reliance on these major corporations is lessened.

Secondly, there has been a collective change in attitudes in the United States, and across the world, in how we are treating the planet. Better research and greater exposure about the damage our generation is doing to the Earth, has led to governments and residents alike putting measures in place to reduce carbon emissions. Many scientists are demonstrating that burning fossil fuels to heat homes and businesses is damaging the ozone layer and causing global warming; by embracing renewable energy sources such as solar power, we are helping repair the harm that may have been done.

SunQuest 250

As more and more people realize the benefits of evacuated tube solar collectors, the demand for products like Solar America Solutions’ SunQuest 250 is increasing, and will only continue to do so.

The Sun

Regardless of how much coal, gas or nuclear sources are used to heat the 132 million homes and over 30 million businesses in the United States, none can come close the earth’s greatest energy provider – the sun. The sun is the planet’s largest power plant and provides the Earth with more energy in one hour of each day than is produced by every nation on earth combined using fossil fuels and nuclear sources in a year. An incredible statistic, right? And the most efficient way to harness such energy is by using solar thermal collector panels like the SunQuest 250.

Solar Power Statistics

A good way to demonstrate just how beneficial solar thermal collectors are is with statistics. So here are a few interesting facts:

•Solar panels are a highly reliable form of renewable energy and have a lifespan of between 30 and 40 years. With the savings that can be made in energy reductions, plus the current government tax credit for solar power systems at 30% of the cost with no limit, panels such at the highly efficient SunQuest 250 will pay for themselves in less than five years!

•Advanced evacuated tube collectors are able to generate the same amount of electricity in their lifetime as nuclear fuel rods, except they do it without the hazardous waste.

As you can see, solar power matters. With fuel bill reductions and tax incentives for home and business owners, Solar America Solutions’ SunQuest 250 is more affordable than ever before and will help you generate enough heat to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and help cut your carbon footprint to provide your grandchildren and great grandchildren with a healthy and sustainable planet.

Solar Panels: What to Consider Before Buying

Solar America Solutions’ SunQuest 250 panels are the most advanced and efficient solar thermal collector panels on the market, capable of producing up to 30,000 BTUs per hour and developing output temperatures of over 300˚ F. Our panels have an efficiency level of 94 percent and are suitable for both residential and commercial applications, making them the ideal solar solution for the budget and environmentally conscious property owner.
However, while we are confident that our solar panels are the best around, and tax credits and governments grants make them highly affordable, we understand that investing in solar energy is a big step to take. With that in mind, here are a few things you should consider before buying.

 

SunQuest250

 

Which way does your roof face?

Roof mounts are the most common type of solar panel installation and the majority of SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panels are installed on the rooftops of the homes and businesses of our customers. Traditionally, in order to get the maximum benefit from solar panels, it was important that a roof faced the right direction. The U.S. being a northern hemisphere country means that solar panels performed best on a south facing roof. Because the SunQuest 250 utilizes the massive power of the sun’s UV rays rather than infra-red rays (heat), the direction the panels face is no longer significant. We have many successful applications with east and west facing panels. The pitch of the roof was also be important; because traditional solar panels work best at a 30-35 degree angle. Again, this is not the case with the SunQuest 250 – it only requires that the panel sits at an angle of at least 20 degrees. The angle to the sun is not important.

Shading and obstruction from trees and other buildings may also affect performance and a ground or pole mount could prove to be the best option.

 

When do you use the most energy?
SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panels harness the sun’s UV rays and convert it directly into thermal energy (heat) for your business or home. Solar panels therefore provide the best value when using a lot of energy in daylight hours but heat collected in daylight hours can be stored in solar tanks to supplement heat applications after the sun goes down. Making changes to your daily routine such as taking a shower or bath and drying clothes during daylight can really maximize the benefits of solar power.

 

How long will you live in a property?

SunQuest 250 panels can typically pay for themselves within 3 to 5 years, so to really benefit from their installation you should consider staying in a property for over 5 years. That being said, if you do plan on moving home or business before a system has paid for itself, the value that solar will add to a property can ensure you recoup your initial outlay. In addition to this, a property with solar panels instantly becomes more desirable to potential buyers.
How much are you spending on energy?

As the cost of energy continues to rise, solar thermal collectors consistently prove to be a wise investment. Depending on energy usage, solar panels can reduce energy bills by 50 to 90 percent, resulting in savings amounting to thousands of dollars each year.

If, after having taken these considerations into account you feel ready to go solar, get in touch with Solar America Solutions and prepare to reap the benefits of SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panels.

Solar Power Pyramid Demonstrates Solar Business Possibilities

Solar power is perhaps the most innovative of all of the renewable energy solutions, and it is being used in increasingly advanced ways in order to harness the infinite energy source that is the sun. One of the most striking uses of solar thermal collectors can be seen across the Atlantic in the small town of Loanhead in Scotland.
Located just a few miles south of the capital city of Edinburgh stands an arresting solar power system fitted onto a pyramid-shaped office building. The building, which has been shortlisted for a Solar Power Portal Award for “Most Innovative System Design”, is a 48 kilowatt structure and uses 193 solar modules, four inverters and 1,158 clamp bases to generate more than 41,000 kWh annually, enough to cover Survey Solutions’ (the company that uses the building) yearly electric demand. This will mean the company can operate completely off the grid.

Tom King, managing director of the firm behind the innovate project said: “The solar pyramid is the most challenging project that I have planned to date and many companies declared it to be impossible – due to the building’s unusually steep inclination.”

SunQuest 250

The building uses dummy solar panels to give the impression that the entire surface of the pyramid is covered with solar thermal collectors and King said that designing the scaffold to fit the panels proved to be an immense challenge. “The modules at the top of the pyramid were installed first, making it essential for them to be fixed securely in place.”

Solar power for the future of business

A pyramid is certainly one of the most innovative commercial structures we have seen embracing solar panels, and we wouldn’t expect Solar America’s customers to erect similar structures to install SunQuest 250 solar thermal collectors. However, the project in Scotland and the way solar energy has been used to generate all of the company’s yearly electric demands is a fine example of how solar panels can benefit the long-term existence of businesses.

Energy bills amount to a significant chunk of business overhead. Solar panels have been shown to reduce gas bills by as much as 90% for home and business owners in the U.S. and several projects using Solar America Solutions’ SunQuest 250 system have proven that reliance of fossil and nuclear fuel-producing utility companies can be reduced by up to 100%. If your business was spending $2000 per month on energy, that’s a saving of $24,000 per year!

The installation of solar panels will also enhance a business’s image of being an environmentally friendly. Making a conscious effort to reduce carbon footprint and help protect the planet will place a business high up on the list for customers when looking for a brands that can be trusted.

Survey Solutions’ effort to make their business self-sufficient is a fine example of how businesses can function in the future, in not only the U.K., but also right here in the U.S. as well as the rest of the world. Solar energy is now able to compete with fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, and we are proud that Solar America’s SunQuest 250 solar thermal collectors are at the forefront of its efficiency.

Obama Leads the Way in Solar Power Adoption

At Solar America Solutions, we’re always keen to talk about the benefits of solar power and how systems such as our very own SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panel can be beneficial to America’s place as a leader in renewable energy.

Solar energy is not only beneficial to the environment by helping users reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear sources as well as reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions, it can help owners save thousands of dollars in energy bills over a lifetime. Of course, as much as the Solar America Solutions name is growing across the U.S., our message, and the message of solar energy being essential for the future of the planet, doesn’t reach as far or wide as we’d like. Therefore, it would be more beneficial for the solar industry as a whole to have a more well known spokesperson championing the cause, and who better to do this than the 44th President of the United States himself, Barack Obama?

 

SunQuest 250

 

Obama’s Pledge

Back in October of 2010, the Obama administration pledged to put solar thermal collector tubes on the White House as a sign of the president’s commitment to renewable energy and solar power in particular. Being someone who would rather show than tell, almost three years later, the installation of these panels has taken place.

The White House confirmed the news last month, with between 20 and 50 panels said to have been installed on the roof of the world’s most famous residence. A White House spokesperson said that the initiative “will help demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades, while it is estimated to pay for itself in energy savings over the next eight years.”

When the administration first confirmed the embracing of solar energy, then-energy secretary Steven Chu said: “This project reflects President Obama’s strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home. Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come.”

The installation of solar panels further solidifies, Obama’s stance on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and adds to the administrations deployment of hybrid cars and trucks and $2 billion commitment to upgrade federal buildings at no up-front cost to the taxpayer.

The Washington Post, who reported the story, noted that this is not the first time the White House has had solar thermal collectors installed, as President Jimmy Carter has previously had 32 panels installed in the late 70s to provide hot water.

 

Proof that Solar Power is here to stay

There can be no greater endorsement of solar power than from the most powerful and well known man on the planet and it shows that products like the SunQuest 250 are here to stay. Not only this, it shows that solar energy is fast becoming the number one alternative to fossil fuels and are helping to save the planet with each new solar thermal collector panel that is installed.

Mounting Your Solar Panels

When people think about Solar America’s SunQuest 250 evacuated tube solar collectors, they think of them as being installed on the roof of a property. There is an obvious reason for this– most solar SunQuest 250 panels are installed on roofs! However, a rooftop is not the only place for a solar installation. Solar America products are as versatile as they are efficient and can be installed or retrofitted in a number of different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the ways solar panels can be mounted.

Solar Panel-Installation

Roof mounted solar systems
As we’ve already explained, roof installations are the most common place to find a SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panel and choosing this type of mount allows you to make the most of space that would remain otherwise unused.
Installing solar panels on a rooftop will allow them to face the sun for long enough to provide sufficient energy for hot water and heating. There is also no worry of shade from trees or other properties blocking the sunlight.

Ground mounted solar systems
When there is enough usable space on the ground surrounding a building, a ground mount can be the ideal solution. Ground mounts are probably the easiest way to mount evacuated tube solar collectors, with a simple A-frame structure attached to concrete providing a solid and sturdy base. A ground mount system can be mounted to make the absolute most of the sun’s UV rays and harness the energy for maximum gains.

Pole top mounted systems
It is also possible to mount SunQuest 250 evacuated tube solar collectors on poles. This type of installation is straightforward and allows panels to remain away from potential damage that can be caused on the ground.

Solar panel placement
Regardless of what type of mount you choose for your solar panel installation, the placement can make an important difference in the amount of heat generated by the panels.
For more advice on Solar America’s SunQuest 250 evacuated tube solar collectors, and how to best mount your panels, contact us today by following this link.

How Much Money Can Solar Panels Save You?

Adoption of solar energy is growing rapidly across the United States and, at Solar America Solutions, we are delighted to be a part of the renewable energy industry and the fight against greenhouse gases. We are also immensely proud of our SunQuest 250 evacuated tube solar thermal collector panel – the most efficient product of its kind, and one being utilized by a growing number of commercial and residential properties.

One of the common questions asked by potential customers is a justifiably upfront one: “How much money can solar panels save me?” Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to give a straight up answer, it is impossible for anybody to calculate exactly how much money can be saved by using solar thermal collectors.

The amount of money saved will vary based on a number of factors, including how much energy your property consumes, the position of your property in relation to the sun, fluctuating energy prices from utility companies and, of course, the weather! Over the long term, whether you decide to lease or purchase your solar panels outright will also affect savings.

So, while it’s hard for us to give an exact answer, we can provide you with an estimate of how much money can be saved by installing SunQuest 250 panels at your home or business.

Five hundred Dollars

Energy Bill Reductions

SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panels will help make significant savings on your energy bills – that, we can guarantee!

Many businesses owners have reported savings of between 50 and 90 per cent on energy bills after installing our solar panels on their property.
Using the figure of 50 per cent, we can estimate that, if your business spends a $1,000 per month on thermal energy (gas, oil, etc.), solar panels will reduce your utility bills by $500 per month. Over a year, that will equate to savings of $6,000! Savings for homeowners are equally as impressive. Say you spend $300 per month on energy at home; savings of 50 per cent due to solar panel installation will amount to $1,800 a year. And that’s only using the conservative figure of 50 per cent!

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are offered by several states, with more to follow, and are a form of “green tag” that requires utility companies to secure a portion of their electricity from solar generators. BTU savings can be calculated in KWH and are just as viable for SRECs as are electricity generating solar panels. SRECs are tradable commodities and can earn you money for the energy that you save.

Adding Value

Aside from the monthly and yearly savings, installing SunQuest 250 evacuated tube collectors at your home or business can add considerable value to your property. Studies show that installing solar panels on a home instantly adds between $18,000 and $23,000 in value, meaning that, as well as saving money, you can earn a profit from solar energy. Imagine what the added value would be for your business! Solar panels also make your home or business much more desirable to potential buyers, so securing a deal will not prove a problem!

To talk about how much you can expect to save by installing SunQuest 250 evacuated tube solar thermal collector panel system at your property, contact Solar America Solutions today.

4 Myths of Solar Panels

Solar thermal collector panels are the most widely accessible form of renewable energy there is, providing homes and businesses across the United States and the world with a credible alternative to utility companies and fossil fuels. In sunny areas like California and Florida, solar energy is already able to compete with coal and nuclear plants, so why is it that SunQuest 250 systems are not installed in every home and business? Well, for those not overly familiar with solar panels, there are a number of common misconceptions that make people hesitant to invest in such technology. Today, we will dispel some of these myths.

Solar-Thermal

1. Solar panels are only for “eco-warriors”

Energy is a hot topic at the moment and people tend to have differing views on global warming and how to proceed with renewable technology. What political parties do tend to agree on though is the fact that solar thermal collectors are beneficial to us all. This point was proven in a poll conducted earlier this year by influential analytics firm Gallup, which revealed that two in three Americans want to put more emphasis on producing domestic energy and over three quarters (76%) want to do it using solar power.

2. The investment is too great

People are often put off solar energy by the apparent initial cost of installing panels. However, if you look closer at the cost, you will see that the upfront figure is much lower than it appears. First, the SunQuest 250 is one of the most affordable solar thermal collectors on the market; combine this with the numerous government grants and tax relief schemes in operation and the cost is a fraction of what it seems to be.
In addition to this, government support of solar power means that attractive finance and lease packages are readily available from Solar America Solutions dealers.

3. Solar energy doesn’t make financial sense

People considering solar panels may be worried about the investment making financial sense. We can assure you that it does. SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panels have a lifespan of between 30 and 40 years. It is estimated that a SunQuest solar thermal system will cut at least 50 percent off a power bill and often much more. Your monthly gas bills are $5,000 that would equate to a saving of $1,500. Based on these savings, it would take you just 4 years to pay off the initial investment. Add these energy savings to the thousands of dollars that a solar system can add to a property, and the investment is one of the best capital improvements that you can make.

4. I’ll be locked into a lengthy agreement

A long-term solar energy agreement isn’t like a cell phone contract where the product will become old and out of fashion. As explained in myth number 3, solar panels add considerable value to a property, so if you ever decided to sell your property, you can easily recoup the cost and make a profit on the installation.
Many of the misconceptions surrounding solar thermal collector panels are simply untruths. Many of the misunderstandings about the panels date back to the 1990s when systems were first becoming mainstream. Today, with Solar America Solutions’ proven projects incorporating the SunQuest 250 panels, solar energy is an affordable investment for everyone.