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Posts tagged ‘SunQuest250’

D.C. Proposal Would Protect ‘Solar Rights’ in Nation’s Capital

Imagine being a small business owner in the nation’s capital, a business owner who spent thousands of dollars installing a solar thermal system on your one-story building to provide your hot water and space heating needs. Everything hums along nicely for the first 14 months or so, and then your neighbor surprises you by adding a second story to his building that effectively blocks your access to the sun, reducing the efficiency of your solar thermal system. Well, that may change thanks to a recent proposal by a local D.C. Council member.

Councilman David Grosso has introduced a bill designed to protect individual “Solar Access Rights” with the establishment of a ‘solar easement’ of sorts. Should the bill become law, it would guarantee individual building owners the right to unobstructed access to the sun for the purposes of solar energy harvesting. The bill would stipulate that access to the sun from a building owner’s rooftop could not be obstructed by neighboring structures or anything else existing on their properties. In cases where access to the sun is unavoidably blocked, the affected property owner would be compensated for financial losses.

The legislation may sound absurd to those who do not live in Washington D.C., but residents know full well what this is all about. The city has seen a substantial surge in row house pop-ups in recent years, a trend that is beginning to cause problems with current solar users.

DC-Solar-Rights

What is a row house pop up? It is a standard row house that has an additional floor or two added to it to increase usable space. Building up is popular in Washington due to the high cost of real estate and a lack of space for building out. Unfortunately, building up can block neighbor access to the sun.

The D.C. Department of the Environment says there are now more than 1,600 solar installations in the city. They expect that number to grow as solar thermal technology is introduced to more business owners. The city council wants to be proactive in ensuring solar rights in order to avoid large investments in solar applications that could otherwise become useless through local neighborhood growth.

Solar Thermal Is the Answer

We will have to wait and see whether the proposed legislation in Washington ever becomes law or not. It will be interesting to know what happens around the country should that be the case. In the meantime, however, it is important for us to continue making the point that solar thermal is the answer to our quest for reliable renewable energy. Solar thermal’s many benefits make it, in our opinion, the best renewable energy platform on the market.

Unlike other systems, solar thermal does not convert direct sunlight into electricity. Rather, it uses ultraviolet energy from the sun to heat a thermal liquid that can then be used to provide space heat or hot water. It is a much more efficient and productive use of solar energy for commercial and industrial purposes.

In the U.S., solar thermal applications are mostly single applications for individual buildings. However, there are places around the world where the technology is being adapted for large-scale power generation. This shows just how successful solar thermal is.

We invite you to contact Solar America Solutions for more information about our SunQuest 250 solar thermal collector panel and peripheral hardware. We can install a system on your building with footprint space requirements of just 3′ x 7′ per collector panel. Take advantage of the sun to provide the space heat and hot water your building needs.

Sources:

  • Washington Business Journal – http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/03/sun-block-d-c-bill-would-require-compensation-when.html

Innovative Project in Romania Shows Potential of Solar Thermal

An innovative Romanian project recently discussed at the annual Renexpo South-East Europe fair in Bucharest has many people in the solar industry talking. The project, designed and built around a residential setting, shows the potential of solar thermal to radically change the way buildings are heated.

Romania’s Geoterm used the Bucharest gathering to present Casa Solaris, a revolutionary residential home constructed using a number of renewable energy products. The heating and hot water systems were designed around the company’s solar thermal system. This system offers a number of revolutionary designs worth noting.

Wall and Ceiling Heating

When designing Casa Solaris, Geoterm took the unusual approach of creating a heating system built into the walls and ceilings. The concept is similar to radiant floor heating in that there are no fans or ducts involved, but it is remarkably different in the amount of power needed to operate the system. Geoterm estimates their system can properly heat a home throughout the year with an annual energy consumption of just 50 kWh per square meter.

Wall and ceiling heating is based on the idea of providing heat through a larger surface area while using less energy at the same time. When you consider the average room has four walls and a ceiling, it is easy to understand how much more efficient such a system would be as compared to even a radiant floor system or especially conventional forced air heating.

Bucharest

The second revolutionary design demonstrated by the Casa Solaris project comes by way of a storage system installed in the ground underneath the structure. Excess energy not used during the summer months is sent to the storage system for use during the winter. Employing some basic principles of physics allows the system to provide plenty of heat during the winter without the need for a heat pump. It also reduces the tendency to waste excess energy produced during periods when the structure does not need to be heated.

Adaptation to Commercial Projects

While the Casa Solaris project was designed around a residential application, the principles developed by Geoterm could easily be adapted for commercial projects. We can envision a day in which solar thermal will be used to provide not only space heat and hot water, but the energy necessary to power a wall and ceiling heating system as the one demonstrated in Bucharest.

We are excited about the potential of this project and what it means to the solar thermal industry in America. The highly efficient and productive nature of solar thermal easily makes it the most efficient form of solar energy production for nearly any application. At Solar America Solutions, we apply the principles of solar thermal in concert with our technologically advanced SunQuest 250 evacuated tube solar collector panel.

The SunQuest 250 requires just 21 ft.² of installation space per panel. A typical roof mounted installation can provide much of the space heat and hot water a facility needs while reducing total energy costs by as much as 50% and more. The success of our system is rooted primarily in evacuated tube technology.

Evacuated tubes are highly efficient because there is almost no loss of energy. Our solar collector panels are made even better by the fact that they utilize ultraviolet energy rather than direct sunlight. This means they operate even on cloudy and overcast days and are not affected by the ambient temperature.

We believe solar thermal is the future of solar energy around the world. We also believe it is your ticket to less expensive space heat and hot water for your commercial building, which has been demonstrated over and over in our scores of solar thermal installations throughout the United States. Contact us for more information.

Sources:

1.Solar Thermal World – http://www.solarthermalworld.org/content/geo-solar-house-design-made-romania

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.

italy-solar

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.

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.