The Nantucket Memorial Airport has announced an extensive renovation project that aims to make the facility the first carbon neutral airport in the U.S. Governor Deval Patrick talked about the project during recent remarks commemorating the start of the second phase of the renovation. He said that the “airport project is not only a win for Nantucket, but for the Commonwealth as a whole … and … for the next generation.”
Patrick did not divulge many details about the renovations, but he did say that when all is said and done they would have eliminated greenhouse gas emissions from all airport-controlled operations. The project includes 25 green energy initiatives that cover everything from lighting choices to energy conservation strategies.
One of the things specifically mentioned was the use of solar thermal for hot water production. Again, no specific details were provided. However, being in the solar thermal industry, we can make a fairly good guess at what this will look like. We base our assumptions on the knowledge that a standard airport would need hot water for kitchen facilities, restroom facilities, and maintenance.
A solar thermal solution for the Nantucket airport would likely include individual and separate installations throughout the complex. For example, the state might choose to install a group of collector panels and the necessary equipment to provide hot water at one of the terminal. At the other end, a second set might be installed for the same reason. A third installation would cover offices and maintenance areas.
Of course, this is all speculation. Nevertheless, we have installed enough solar thermal equipment to get a pretty good idea of what the airport’s needs would be. The total number of solar collector units and heat exchangers necessary to make the system work depends on the size and scope of airport operations. Those in charge will undoubtedly look at every aspect to make sure they get it right.
We’re Already Doing It
Solar America Solutions is thrilled to know the Nantucket Memorial Airport will be embracing solar thermal for hot water production. In addition to its carbon neutral benefits, solar thermal will also save the airport a tremendous amount of money by providing inexpensive and efficient energy. We know that airport and state officials will be very pleased with the results of the installation.
Why do we say this? Because we are already doing what they are preparing to undertake in Massachusetts. For example, we introduced Indiana’s prison system to solar thermal when we installed one of our systems on the roof of a brand-new cellblock. Prison officials were so impressed that they have agreed to undertake future installations at facilities throughout the state. The success of the project in Indiana resulted in the state of Ohio’s Department of Rehabilitation and Correction undertaking a much more extensive project at its Ross Correctional Facility in Chillicothe, Ohio. Completed in July 2014, this project provides hot water and space heat for eight cell blocks, included 400 SunQuest 250 solar thermal panels, and is the largest (non-utility) solar thermal application in North America!
The success we have seen thus far is the direct result of our innovative and revolutionary evacuated tube solar collector. The collector unit, the SunQuest 250, is the most efficient collector panel on the market. It is capable of producing as much as 35,000 BTUs per hour at peak operation, with temperatures as high as 475°F.
With the SunQuest 250 system promptly deployed, commercial building owners can realize enough savings to pay for the system in less than five years of ownership in most cases. Throughout the rest of its 25+ years of life, the system puts money back into the coffers of business owners. What’s not to love about that?
Solar America Solutions offers solar thermal space heat and hot water applications for the agricultural, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, education, and government sectors as well as any other commercial application that uses space heat and/or hot water. We would be happy to custom design a system for your building, according to your specifications.