Solar Thermal

Solar thermal systems use the sun to heat hot water. According to a recent SEPA study, the residential solar thermal market is a $123 billion dollar market. The commercial market is expected to grow by 20% per year.

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6,500+ Word Guide to Solar Water Heater Installation Best Practices

This is a guest post from Bob Ramlow, solar thermal expert and the teacher of our Solar Thermal Boot Camp. Bob’s next solar thermal training starts on September 30th. If you need to know exactly how to design, install and quote solar water heater system, this class if for you. Click here to sign up.

I asked Bob to write an article on best practices for commissioning solar thermal systems, but he quickly realized without proper understanding of installation best practices, commissioning doesn’t matter too much.

Enter Bob

In my work with many solar water heating manufacturers, designers and installers here in the upper Midwest I have compiled a list of best installation practices for solar water heating systems. This work is collaboration and is ongoing, so if you have anything to add to this work, please send me your additions.

Here in Wisconsin where I live the climate is harsh for solar water heating systems. I have over 9,000 heating degree-days and temperatures can reach well over 1000 F during the summer and fall to -300F or colder during the winter. I have also seen the temperature drop over 400F in less than a day. This is a tough environment for a solar water heating system to survive in. If a solar water heating system can survive here in Central Wisconsin, it can survive anywhere. As is often the case, the devil is in the details, and when designing a solar water heating system it is imperative to get all the details correct if we want a quality installation.

And details are what we have in this compilation. We have included every subject matter that seemed appropriate to a best practice in solar heating system installation. Of course the installation begins with the sale, so that is where we start. My next article in this series will be about commissioning. I will be referencing this best practice manual in that next article.

Introduction to Solar Water Heater Installation Best Practices

This manual was developed as a tool to assist solar thermal designers and installers as a guideline to provide the most reliable solar hot-water systems possible. The material presented here is not intended to be used as a list of system requirements or as a type of solar code. Rather, it was assembled with the input of many parties to share lessons learned in the field. It is not inclusive and is a work in progress.

This manual was developed in Wisconsin where some parts of the state have over 10,000 heating degree days and where winter temperatures regularly fall below -30°F. In fact, the record coldest temperature recorded in Wisconsin was -55°F. During the summer, temperatures can rise above 100°F. While most climates are not this severe, the practices outlined in this manual will be helpful for system designs in all cold climates as well as in warm climates.

A properly designed solar hot-water system must not only function properly during extreme cold and hot environmental circumstances, it must also be able to safely endure sustained periods of low or no hot water draw without damage or overheating.

A best practice is defined as:

  • A practice that is most appropriate under the circumstances.
  • A technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has reliably led to a desired or optimum result.

Overview:

A well-designed solar water heating system that is appropriate for the climate where it is located and is properly installed with appropriate solar rated components will last for many years. Being a mechanical system, some components will eventually wear out and fail. The typical wear parts in a solar water heating system include the pumps, the expansion tank, automatic valves and the solar fluid. Environmentally, lightening can damage the controller.

 

Reliability studies have been conducted on solar water heating systems, but they have been limited by the lack of data available. Despite the lack of data, certain conclusions have been indicated. All mechanical systems follow a common reliability path that identifies when problems typically occur. Graphically, a curve demonstrates this where the curve is shaped like a bathtub. The following table comes from a solar water heating reliability report created by Sandia Labs under a grant from the US Department of Energy.

bathtubcurve

This graph shows that the greatest probability of a failure will occur at the startup and at the end of system or component life. The failure rate early in the device’s life is characterized by startup failures due to design flaws, faulty new equipment or components, installation errors, and misuse due to ignorance (yellow area). Once these initial problems are corrected the device enters its useful operational period where failures are due to chance occurrence (green area). Later, as the device and its components age, the failures begin to increase because the system is wearing out. Failures start to slowly creep in and eventually the system fails (red area). Because most solar collectors and piping systems can last well past the average life of a pump or other shorter life components, replacing the failed component can bring a failed system back to life.

This research shows the importance of post installation inspection or monitoring to overcome the potential startup failure.

Solar water heating systems have a unique situation where it is difficult to notice a system failure because there is always a full-size backup water heating system in place. In a water heating system using a conventional single water heater, if the system fails there is no hot water and the owner knows it immediately and can arrange for a service call. In the case of a solar water heating system that has a backup water heater, the owner may not know if the solar water heater is not functioning because the backup water heater will provide hot water. This situation shows how critically important it is that the solar water heating system be checked periodically. Owner involvement is mandatory and the system owner must be aware of this responsibility before the installation is started. If the owner is not willing to check the system at least monthly, then the sale should not take place unless a service contract is in place or unless some type of alarm is in place that would alert the owner of a system failure. It also shows that the installer should conduct a follow-up inspection within a reasonably short period of time after the system is commissioned to identify any startup failures.

Site Assessment For All System Types:

Harnessing the sun’s energy requires proper orientation and location of the solar collectors to maximize system performance, efficiency and ease of installation. A site analysis should be performed before purchasing equipment to ensure there is access to the southern sky without excessive shading and available space for the installation of the solar collectors, solar storage and drainback tanks, pumps or integrated pump stations and associated piping. Steps for an effective site analysis:

  • Try to have all decision makers present during the site assessment or the sales call.
  • Make sure the client understands what solar hot-water systems can and cannot do. Many potential system owners are enthusiastic about the prospect of owning a solar hot-water system but may not really understand the characteristics or limitations of this type of investment.
  • A south facing location for the collectors is ideal. A north facing location will not provide adequate access to the sun’s energy and are not suitable for locating the solar collectors. East and west facing roof locations may be used but will require tilt kits to orient the collectors towards the southern sky. Web sites with satellite imagery (such as Google Maps) can often be used to survey the orientation of the roof before a site visit.
  • The best horizontal orientation is achieved when the collectors are facing due south plus or minus 30°, this is often referred to as the azimuth angle.
  • The best vertical orientation for year-round applications is achieved when the collectors are tilted at an angle equal to the geographic latitude of the location. Tilt kits are available to achieve the optimal vertical angle. NOTE: Customers often prefer to have the solar collectors flush mounted to the roof for aesthetic reasons. Modern solar collectors are efficient enough that flush mounting to pitched roofs will still provide reasonable performance for domestic water heating. Therefore customer’s preferences should always be considered.
  • Placing the collectors as close as possible to the peak, less 3 feet provide clearance for maintenance,  on pitched roofs will make installation easier by providing increased attic access. Placing the collectors near the edge of the roof will make installation difficult since attic access is more restricted at this point. The attic space must be examined during the site analysis to confirm adequate space is available for installing the solar collectors in the proposed location. Be aware that the top 6 feet on the South side of the peak is known as the snow surcharge area (drifting).
  • The solar collectors should be located as close to the solar storage tank as possible to minimize heat loss in the piping runs, pump power and reduce installation cost.
  • The proposed location must have access to the southern sky with a minimum amount of shading between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM each day throughout the year.
  • Determine the load:
  • Most residential clients have no idea how much hot water they actually use; where feasible, meter the hot water load for a month. Otherwise, do a load profile based on the ANSI/ASHRAE 90.2-2007 formula:
    • AGPD = [CW + SPA + B](NP)
      • Where:
        • AGPD = average gallons per day of hot water consumption
        • CW = 2.0 gal/day per person if a clothes washer is present in living unit, otherwise zero
        • SPA = 1.25 gal/person per day additional hot water use if a ‘spa-tub is present in living unit, otherwise zero
        • B = 13.2 gal/person
        • NP = number of people in living unit; if exact information is unknown, estimate as follows, where NSR = number of sleeping rooms:
          • (1.0)(NSR) for single-family detached and manufactured (mobile) homes with one to four sleeping rooms, plus (0.5)(NSR) for each sleeping room beyond four, or
          • (1.25)(NSR) for multifamily buildings with one to four sleeping rooms per dwelling unit, plus (0.5)(NSR) for each sleeping room beyond four
    • Inquire whether the household may bear any behaviors or activities that will consistently exceed or reduce the estimate based on the ASHRAE guidance.
    • Encourage the replacement of old appliances.
    • Document whether loads are consistent or intermittent by inquiring about vacation patterns or other absences in occupancy throughout the year.
    • On both residential and commercial systems, look for multiple loads that a single system can satisfy. If possible, try to find both winter and summer loads to satisfy so the system can provide heat all year round.
    • Do not install collectors on a bad roof.
  • If shingles are nearing the end of their useful life (curling, breaking, or significant loss of aggregate), the building should be reroofed before the collectors are installed.
  • When the site analysis is complete and it has been confirmed that the proposed location will provide adequate access to the sun’s energy and room to install the equipment sizing and equipment selection can be made.
  • Ensure the local codes regarding all mechanical components, particularly single wall or double wall heat exchanger requirements are understood before equipment is purchased. Order double wall heat exchanger systems if required by local codes.Typically propylene glycol systems don’t require double-wall heat exchanger (verify with local code official). Ethylene glycol systems always require a double-wall heat exchanger to potable water.
  • Use a site assessment tool to help determine the best place for the collectors:
  • Document the solar window by taking a digital photo of the site assessment tool. Provide a copy to the owner and keep a copy in your files.
  • Collectors can be oriented within 30 degrees of South with little difference in output.
  • Model system performance:
    • When using computer modeling tools, use the following parameters:
      • When shading occurs within the solar window, it is typically the case that the site’s shading occurs in the winter months. Do not recommend a space-heating component if that is the case. When shading is a concern, note that while nearly all heat is collected during the hours of 9 AM to 3 PM (solar time), a majority of the heat is actually collected between 10 AM to 2 PM. If this window is less than 10% shaded, it is considered a good site for a solar water-heating system.
      • Count branches of a deciduous tree at 50% shaded during the hours impacted if the shading occurs from October to March.
      • Pay attention to future tree growth horizons. Recommend to the owner that most types of trees should not be planted within 50 feet of the site.
  • If options are available, involve the client in deciding which sites are acceptable for collector placement. This will prevent misunderstandings about placement and last-minute changes to the pump size. If the site has very limited solar access, document the reasons for exact collector placement.
  • Don’t recommend a system if the site is more than 35% shaded. While most of the energy collected from any solar thermal system will be in the spring, summer and fall months, you want customers to be satisfied with their investment year-round. In case of summer uses (i.e. cabin, pool), winter shading can be ignored.
  • Document all optional pipe runs from collectors to the balance of the system.Document that there is room for the balance of the system.
    • If walls will be opened, document repair/carpentry costs.
    • Record measurements of stairs or door openings and determine whether they are large enough to allow tank placement.
  • Typical system design

    • Undersize rather than oversize:
      • Size the system to provide a maximum of 100% on best solar day. This sizing scheme results in systems that do not overheat as well as systems that have the highest possible return on investment (ROI).
    • Specify appropriate system type:
      • Consider drainback systems for intermittent loads or seasonal load types, if practical.
      • Consider pressurized glycol systems for systems that have pipe runs that cannot maintain a ¼” per foot slope back to the drainback tank and for ground mounted systems.
    • Typically, the area available for the collector array will determine the size of system, especially in commercial applications. Another space limitation, particularly for commercial installations, is the available room for the solar storage tanks and the balance of system components in the mechanical room.
    • If collector arrays will be in a saw tooth configuration, make sure the southern array will not shade the northern array. Note: A little shading when the sun is at its lowest angle will not seriously impact the performance of the system.
    • Systems that serve multiple loads typically have a better return on investment than single load applications.
    • Plan installation carefully so you have all components on site.

    Residential system design

    • System sizing: In order to qualify for the current federal tax credit, a residential system must be sized to cover half of the household’s domestic hot water load. This is the ideal maximum for solar hot-water systems without space or pool heating.
    • Space Heat: This option is very popular in cold climates. The collectors should be tilted to maximize the winter sun (location latitude plus  150). To minimize potential summer overheating, consider including a heat diversion circuit to dissipate unwanted heat when necessary, or recommend a drainback system.
    • Aesthetics: Many potential solar hot-water system owners would prefer that the collectors be flush mounted (parallel to the roof). While this practice will have only a small impact on the performance of the solar hot-water system in most climates, it is important that the prospective owner be aware that in a climate that experiences both a significant amount of annual snowfall plus experiences prolonged below freezing temperatures, there will be a reduction in overall system performance if the collectors are not tilted to an angle of at least 450. Production will be lost during the winter when daily production is at it’s lowest.
    • If the owner of a large house wants a solar hot-water system, but currently there are only 1-2 occupants, system sizing will depend on the future intentions of the owner. If the plan is to have children or to sell the home in the next few years, size the system slightly large and consider the following:
    • 1) Tilt the collectors to the winter angle.
    • 2) Oversize the storage tank.
    • Two-tank systems outperform one-tank systems in climates that experience extended cloudy periods.
    • All systems require a listed Thermostatic Mixing Valve (TMV) at the exit hot water outlet of the back-up heater.
    • If the back-up heater is on-demand, the TMV may be installed between the solar storage tank and the on-demand heater. Check with the water heater manufacturer to determine the maximum incoming water temperature allowed; and if necessary install the TMV between the storage  tank and the on-demand heater set the TMV at or below this temperature.
    • If the back-up water heater is an on-demand type, be sure that the on-demand heater will modulate to the “off” position if the incoming preheated water is already up to temperature.

    Non-residential system design

    • Never install an automatic water fill valve on pressurized glycol systems.
    • It is acceptable to use an a glycol fill system (injection pump) that injects a pre-mix of glycol into the solar loop if the pressure drops in that loop (sometimes called a glycol makeup system)..
    • Size the Heat Exchanger (HX) for a worst-case scenario with maximum possible water temperature and solar fluid temperature). To accommodate this worst case, the HX cannot be too big.
    • Install Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) in the mechanical room:
    • 1) Pipe the PRV to within 6” of the floor.
    • 2) Locate the PRV between the collectors and any isolation valves in the system.
    • 3) Size the PRV appropriately in relation to the maximum BTU output of the system.

    Components

    • Maximum flow rates for copper tubing:
      • Size the piping to maintain 5 feet of water column (head) per 100 feet of pipe. The following graph also shows the amount of heat that can be pushed through a pipe size at the identified flow rates and temperature rise.
    Pipe Size(in) Flow(gpm) Energy Delivered(BTUH @ 20°F temp rise)
    ½ 1.5 15,000
    ¾ 4 40,000
    1 8 80,000
    1 ¼ 14 140,000
    1 ½ 22 220,000
    2 47 470,000
    2 1/2 85 850,000
    3 130 1,300,000
    • Another method of pipe sizing is based on fluid velocity (between 2 and 5 feet/second) and head loss. The table below summarizes this method.
    Pipe Size(in) Flow Rate(gpm)
    1/2 1 – 3
    ¾ 3 – 7
    1 5 – 12
    1 ¼ 8 – 19
    1 ½ 11 – 28
    2 20 – 49
    2 ½ 31 – 76
    3 44 – 110
    4 78 – 296

     

    • Sizing with a flow rate greater than 5 feet Per second (undersizing the pipe) results in pipe erosion and requires excessive pumping energy.  This is important because it differs from the plumbing code.  Closed-loop piping with pumps and glycol is different than open-loop piping with water.
    • Sizing less than 2 feet per second (oversizing the pipe) results in excessive costs, the inability to move air through the piping (which is especially critical in drainback systems), and potentially a significant amount of heat loss through the pipe because its residence time is so high.
    • Sizing for head loss is also important because it determines the amount of pumping energy that will be required.  In space heating systems with radiant floor/sandbed loops, or in large commercial systems, going up one pipe size can, in some cases, save enough pumping energy to overcome the extra installation costs in just a few years. Oversizing in the case of planning for system expansion is justifiable.  In every other case, oversizing has to be done carefully.  The extra costs may often be overlooked.  It is not just additional cost in pipe, but it is also more costly labor, fittings, and hangers.  It carries over to larger insulation and jacketing, more solar fluid, larger expansion tanks, etc.  In commercial systems, the difference is many thousands of dollars.  And this is the cost that must be offset by the benefits: savings in pumping energy and flexibility for future expansion.
    • Add parallel lines together.
    • Pipes can be oversized but will increase the cost.
    • 8 gpm for a 1” header means the max number of panels linked together should be 8 to ensure 1 gpm per collector. The 8 limitation of maximum collectors linked together is also a function of manifold expansion and contraction. This applies to harp style absorber plate collectors. Connecting more than 8 four foot wide collectors can result in more expansion than the collectors can withstand without harming the absorber plates and possibly the collector frame as well. Refer to the collector manufacturer for specific information about this point.
    • Max of 4 collectors for ¾” header.
    • Long pipe runs may require expansion loops, L-bends, Z-bends or U-bends per 2008 ASHRAE HVAC systems and Equipment 45.11

    Continue reading

    Posted in Solar and Geothermal Sales and Marketing Tips, Solar Thermal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Best in Class Solar Thermal Monitoring: 50% Cheaper, 1/3 the Install time, No Moving Parts = Super Reliable

    ohm_logo

    The Ohm by Sunnovations is a category killing, best in class, real time monitoring solution for residential solar thermal systems. If you think you’ve already looked into solar thermal monitoring and it’s too expensive, too complex and expensive to install, and not reliable enough, think again.

    I’m constantly looking for technologies that will reduce risk for property owners that want to invest in renewable thermal technologies and that contractors can simultaneously use to increase sales, verify performance and decrease service costs.

    Here is why the Ohm is better than any other option on the market for residential solar thermal monitoring.

    If you want to learn more about the Ohm, click here to sign up for a free product training.

    If you want to learn more about the Ohm, click here to sign up for a free product training.

    Ohm Solar Thermal Monitoring

    In the below interview, I spent 20 minutes talking with Matt Carlson the CEO of Sunnovations, the company that makes the Ohm system.

    Below are what we talked about with minute markets so you can forward to what’s most interesting to you.

    (Please note, I didn’t get into a fight the night before the interview, it’s poison ivy!)

    • 1:00 – What is the history of Sunnovations and what was the reason that you invented the Ohm?
    • 2:30 – What is the issue with the existing solar thermal monitoring technologies? What problem does this solve and how does your technology work?  [The most critical thing to understand is how much energy is being DELIVERED to the property owner, and the current BTU meters are expensive, and not reliable, the Ohm solves this]
    • 4:40 – How does the Ohm work and how it can understand a) solar thermal module production b) back up heat used and c) heat that is delivered and used by the property owners? Can it be used for both single tank and double tank configurations? [Quick answer, a long wire is installed in the tank over the length of the tank and it measures changes in average tank temperature. With this information and their algorithm, it can tell if the energy is coming from solar, back up heat, and what the property owner is using]
    • 8:20 – What is it that makes this technology so much cheaper, more reliable, faster to install and gather more useful data than anything currently on the market?
    • 12:00 – What are the most common installation and reliability issues with traditional BTU based monitoring systems?
    • 14:30 – Switching gears to industry trends, with all renewable thermal technologies a key obstacle is that there is a huge perception of risk to property owners with cash that want to invest in these technologies. Within these technologies, there’s not enough verification of system data that can be used to convince skeptical property owners. Is this something that the BEST solar thermal contractors are trying to solve and using monitoring for?
    • 17:30 – How  monitoring and easy access to data can provide an emotional attachment for homeowners to their system.
    • 18:30 – Can you speak to the accuracy of the system for the amount of energy that has been created by the modules AND delivered to the property owner? [Answer: Sunnovations commissioned a 3rd party study and it found a 1% error rate]
    Posted in Geothermal and Solar Design and Installation Tips, Solar Thermal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    POLICY ACTION ALERT MASSACHUSETTS: Help Needed with The Most Important Renewable Thermal Legislation in the Country

    I’ve been working on an important renewable thermal (oil elimination!) policy issue in Massachusetts. We’re making a lot of progress but need help from industry. Read below for more detailed information.

    We have a hearing on July 16th and NEED to get support for the bill. Here’s how you can help:

    1 – Do you work in one of these industries; solar thermal, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, biomass, or biogas? Yes, see question 2.

    2 – Do you live in an district represented by one of the members on the committee of telecommunications, utilities and energy (SEE THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE FOR THE LIST)?

    If the answer is yes to both questions, we need your help. Please email me at cwilliams@heatspring.com or call me at 917 767 8204 with any questions.

    Here’s the full release

    Action Alert from the Massachusetts Renewable Thermal Coalition

    www.masscleanheatbill.org

    IMPORTANT: IMMEDIATE ATTENTION NEEDED TO REACH OUT TO LEGISLATORS IN SUPPORT OF SB1593

    A hearing will be held on SB1593, our bill to add renewable thermal energy to the MA Alternative Portfolio Standard, on Tuesday July 16 at 10 AM before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

    It is imperative before the hearing that advocates in favor of this legislation reach out to members of this committee before the hearing, AND URGE SUPPORT FOR THE BILL.  In particular, we need constituent contact to House members of the committee.

    What You Can Do:

    • Please request a meeting, call or email the House members as soon as possible.  SEE COMMITTEE LIST BELOW.  This is especially important if you are a constituent of a House member.  Use this link to find contact info for your House member: https://malegislature.gov/People/Search
    • Let us know if you would like assistance arranging a meeting.  Let us know, in advance, of any meetings you arrange. One of us may be able to join you. We can also coordinate your meeting with other similar meetings.
    • A personal meeting is preferable.  A phone call or personal letter is also helpful.  Email is a last resort if no other communication is possible.
    • Use the talking points below to frame your communication.  Ask the member if they will support the bill.
    • Let us know what feedback you get following your communication.

    Talking Points:

    • SB1593 adds renewable thermal energy technologies – solar, geothermal and biomass thermal – to the MA Alternative Portfolio Standard.
    • Heat represents one-third of all energy consumed in Massachusetts.  MA is among themost dependent states on imported and expensive fossil heating fuels such as heating oil or propane.
    • Renewable thermal technologies are ready for the market and can help MA reduce dependence on these fuels, and create new jobs by the growth of the renewable thermal businesses.  Due to high capital cost, they need support from the APS, much as renewable electric technologies receive support from the RPS.
    • MA cannot meet its aggressive greenhouse gas emission targets under the MA Climate Solutions Act without attention on thermal energy.
    • SB1593 will save ratepayers money by providing utilities with lower cost options to meet their APS obligation.
    • SB1593 is a logical extension of MA’s national leadership on renewable energy policy. SB1593 is good for the MA economy, and good for the MA environment.

    Attachments:

    Thank you for taking action to support SB1593.  If you have questions, please contact Jeff Hutchins at jhutchins@massforestalliance.org.

    Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (JCTUE)

    House Members (2013-2014)

     

    Use this link to get contact info: https://malegislature.gov/People/Search

     

    John D. Keenan (D) – Chair

    • Representative from 7th Essex
      • Towns include:
        • Salem

    Mark J. Cusack (D) – Vice Chair

    • Representative from 5th Norfolk
      • Towns include:
        • Braintree
        • Holbrook – Precinct. 1
        • Randolph – Pct. 4

    Jennifer E. Benson (D)

    • Representative from 37th Middlesex
      • Towns include:
        • Acton – Pcts. 3-5
        • Ayer – Pct. 2
        • Boxborough
        • Harvard (Worcester County)
        • Lunenburg (Worcester County)
        • Shirley

    Tackey Chan (D)

    • Representative from 2nd Norfolk
      • Towns include:
        • Quincy
          • Ward. 1
          • Ward. 3, Pcts. 1, 2
          • Ward. 4, Pcts. 2, 4
          • Ward. 5, Pcts. 1, 3, 4, 5

    Stephen L. DiNatale (D)

    • Representative from 3rd Worcester
      • Towns include:
        • Fitchburg
        • Lunenburg – Pct. B

    Thomas A. Golden (D)

    • Representative from 16th Middlesex
      • Towns include:
        • Chelmsford – Pcts. 2, 3, 6
        • Lowell – Wards. 5, 6, 9

    John J. Mahoney (D)

    • Representative from 13th Worcester
      • Towns include:
        • Worcester
          • Ward. 1, Pcts. 1-4
          • Ward. 3, Pct. 2
          • Ward. 9
          • Ward. 10, Pct. 1

    John H. Rogers (D)

    • Representative from 12th Norfolk
      • Towns include:
        • Norwood
        • Walpole – Pcts. 1, 2, 6, 7

    Walter F. Timilty (D)

    • Representative from 7th Norfolk
      • Towns include:
        • Milton – Pcts. 3-10
        • Randolph – Pcts. 1-3, 7-10

    Randy Hunt (R)

    • Representative from 5th Barnstable
      • Towns include:
        • Barnstable – Pcts. 11, 12
        • Bourne – Pct. 1, 2, 7
        • Sandwich
        • Plymouth – Pct. 9

    Leonard Mirra (R)

    • Representative from 2nd Essex
      • Towns include:
        • Boxford – Pcts. 2-3
        • Georgetown
        • Groveland
        • Haverhill
          • Ward. 4, Pct. 3
          • Ward. 7, Pct. 3
      • Merrimac
      • Newbury
      • Rowley
      • West Newbury
    Posted in Clean Energy Policu, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal | Leave a comment

    HeatSpring is Building the Largest Library of Free Clean Energy Product Training to Get Manufactures in Front of Contractors

    All Manufactures know that they need product training 

    Everyone needs to get up to speed on how to use specific products. Every product is a little bit different and getting distributors and contractors to really understand a product makes them more likely to spec it into a project. Also, increased product knowledge will decrease customer service time that manufactures spend with existing customers.

    Existing product trainings are done face-to-face, but there are a few problems with face-to-face product trainings.

    1. Face-to-face product trainings are expensive for both the instructor, especially if he’s traveling, and the students. The students have to take time out of their day to go to the training. Missing work in the construction industry is very expensive.
    2. One person can ruin a training. In face-to-face trainings, strong personalities or a single member that has less experience than other students can significantly decrease the value of the training to rest of the students. In an online product training, those people can easily be controlled by the instructor and they won’t impact the other students learning.
    3. In-depth technical training are actually better online. We’ve taught people how to design Net Zero Energy Homes, in a 100% online course. If we can teach people how to design amazing homes online, you can do a product training.
    4. It’s hard to get 1-on-1 time with every student in a face-to-face training. In online trainings you can address everyone’s questions and schedule 1 on 1 time with everyone with weekly office hours.
    5. In a face-to-face training, it’s hard to tell if everyone is understanding the material. In an online product training, you can track who is completing the assignment with the progress bar, and you can also create quizzes for each module to make sure students are learning the material.

    Why every manufacture making energy efficiency or renewable energy products should build a product training on HeatSpring

    • Get in front of 6,000 solar PV, solar thermal and geothermal alumni and all new students.
    • Get in front of 33,000 newsletter subscribers and 10,000 monthly online magazine readers that are all extremely interested in products and working in the renewable energy business.
    • HeatSpring is great at marketing and we’ll get your name out there. We write in numerous industry publications, like Renewable Energy World, Cleantechies, Greentech Media and Alternative Energy Stocks. Click here to see our press page. 
    • Get direct connection with contractors that are signed up for your course in two ways. First, you’ll get all the students contact information so you can follow up with them after the course. Second, you’ll have direct contact with all the students on the course wall during the course.

    Why is Heatspring Building a Product Training Library?

    1. We receive a lot of questions about products, and frankly, we don’t have enough time to answer them, but we want to be a resource to our students and readers.
    2. Our readers, students and alumni want to keep up to date with the best products that are hitting the market.
    3. By helping our alumni and readers more and more people will trust Heatspring. This is good for our brand.

    How do we know it works? SRECTrade’s Product Training is an Example

    SRECTrade is a perfect example of a product training that we offer. I’ll use them as an example of why we (HeatSpring) created the product training, what specifically a product training is comprised of, and why it’s awesome for SRECTrade’s business.

    Why did we create it?

    Everyone on the east coast is trying to figure out the SREC markets. Thus, we were spending a lot of time answering questions about SRECs and writing about them. It was clear that offering a free product training course would be very valuable.

    What exactly is in the course?

    Here is a quick 3 minute tour of what the inside of a product training looks like, and how the student sees the course once they are inside of it. 

    How many people take the course?

    As you can see, every 1 to 2 months, we get around 50 people in the course. For SRECTrade, these are all their customers, contractors looking to learn more about SRECs.

    What is contained in a course?

    1. First, there are modules. Product trainings tend to have two to three modules. Here is what a module looks like:

    2. Within each module, you can upload video presentations, PDFs, downloadable tools, quizzes. Whatever you use for existing product trainings can be used in an online course. 

    Here’s an example of what a video would look like once the student clicks on it.

    3. We’ll create a sales page that can have a introduction video and will also go over what the course will cover, the instructor, and when it will be. You can see the example from SRECTrade in this video:

    4. The course wall. The course wall is where all the discussion happens with the course. This is where you’ll have direct connection with each student and have them introduce themselves and answer any questions that they have during the course.

    Watch the video above to see the course wall in action, here’s a picture of what happens in a course for student introductions.


    Who should create a product training?

    We’re building our product training for many categories

    1. Solar PV: Module manufactures, inverter manufactures, racking manufactures, software product, other tools related to the sales, design and installation of the product.
    2. Solar thermal: modules, storage tanks, pump packages, controls, software.
    3. HVAC: Any equipment and products that contractors use to install air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps.

    What we need from you to create a product training

    If you’re interested in offering a product training, here’s what we need from you.

    1. One single product. You can upload a product training for one single product.
    2. Up to 1 hour of video. These can be split into many videos. Video is a nice to have, but it’s not required.
    3. Up to 5 supporting resources. These can be PDFs, tools, or presentations.
    4. 1 or 2 quizzes that are either multiple choice or true/false. Students and instructors need quizzes to make sure that students are learning the material.
    5. A picture and bio of the instructor. The instructor should be the person who is best able to answer the questions from the students. These are most typically, a) a sales or marketing manager or b) the a training director.

    Product Training Signup Page

    If you want to have your product training in HeatSpring's product training library, fill out the below information and we'll be in touch.
    Posted in Geothermal and Solar Design and Installation Tips, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    HeatSpring Launches “Ask An Expert” Services

    Today’s we’re launching a quick and simple but important addition to our extensive library of free articles, white-papers, tools and free courses, and it’s called HeatSpring’s Ask An Expert service. The Ask an Expert service is for both clean energy professionals and property owners that need help with a very specific situations related to clean energy.

    Our industry certification and continuing education trainings have always provided the students of each course with direct contact with our instructors through forums, our message boards, and direct face to face contact. But what happens after the class is finished? What happens if you run into a specific problem while doing a site visit? If you have a question when writing a proposal, creating a design or during commissioning of a project? What happens if you’re brought into a project that is having trouble and your task is to determine what is wrong? We think our Ask An Expert portal will help you.

    There is value in simplicity, speed, and curation. There’s a lot of information on the internet but a lot of the information does not fit YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION. Many times it’s hard to find an answer for a complex problem and we want to use our community of readers, students, instructors, and partners to help each other all the time.

    Our goal at HeatSpring is to provide renewable energy professionals and property owners with all the information you need to make money or save money using clean energy. We realize that sometimes professionals and property owners have specific questions that cannot be addressed in HeatSpring Magazine, in a industry certification training, or in a free course. For this reason, we created Heatspring’s Ask An Expert service. The service is both for professionals and property owners.

    CLICK HERE if you are an INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL – engineers, tradesman, salesperson, architect, executive – looking to ask a question.

    • The professional section is split up in technology sections, within each section, feel free to ask any question about marketing, sales, design, installation, project management, policy, and finance.
    • We’ll work to get you an answer within 48 hours.

    CLICK HERE if you are a PROPERTY OWNER that is looking to ask a question related to the design, installation, policy, or financial implications of investing in clean energy.

    • The property owner section allows you to send us a specific question and we’ll respond to it within 48 hours. We didn’t feel it would make sense to make this information public because it can involve sharing private information about your home including addresses. etc.
    Posted in Geothermal and Solar Design and Installation Tips, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Q+A, Solar and Geothermal Sales and Marketing Tips, Solar Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal | Leave a comment

    [Free Boston Event] A Homeowners’ Guide to Investing in Renewable Energy

    HeatSpring Magazine is often visited by renewable energy professionals, but we also get a fair share of readers that are 1) career changers, students, and people looking to start companies and 2) from property owners that are looking to invest in renewable energy and find us as a resource to understanding the technology.

    Next week, we have two events happen in Boston to help these groups.

    1. Renewable Energy 101 for Students, Career Changers and Entrepreneurs. All Day Friday. 
    2. A Homeowners Guide to Renewable Energy Thursday October 25th at 6pm

    A wanted to provide a little more detail about the homeowner event, in case you’re a homeowner, thinking about investing in renewable energy and are finding it hard to get your questions answer in plain language.

    I’ll be hosting an event in Boston for homeowners interested in renewable energy. There’s a lot of confusion around which technology is the best, the most efficient, and what exactly the incentives and financials actually look like. Needless to say, the answers to all those questions are “it depends”.

    The event is specifically for homeowners. We’re have a few great event partners and contractor who will be there to answer any questions. It’s happening on Thursday afternoon in Cambridge.

    You can RSVP for the event here. Thursday October 25th at 6pm EST.

    Here are more details:

    • The goal of the workshop is to clearly and blunty address many of the questions that homeowners have about investing in renewable energy in Massachusetts.
    • The workshop is for property owners that are looking to invest in renewable energy and get basic questions answered.
    • The workshop will be capped at 20 people.

    Focus will be on three technologies

    • Solar PV
    • Solar Thermal
    • Ground Source Heat Pumps

    Technology

    1. How each technology works
    2. What are the best properties and homes for each technology. How do you know if your home works?
    3. What are the risks for each technology and how are they eliminated
    4. Top 5 questions to ask any contractor that is doing work
    5. Detailed construction timelines and project photos so you can see how each  technology is actually installed

    Finance and Government Incentives

    1. A Quick review of government incentives available
    2. Rebates vs tax credits vs production based incentives
    3. Buying solar cash vs debt vs 3rd party leases. What are the pros and cons of each
    4. Typicall returns for each technology based on the property

    Questions and Answer: Bring them all!

    About your Speaker

    Chris Williams will be your host. He has designed and installed 300kW of solar PV and plenty of solar thermal and geothermal systems as well. He’s the Chairman of the Government Relations Committee at NEGPA, a consultant at Voltaic Solaire in NYC that recently completed the cities first 100% solar powered building, the Chief Marketing Officer at HeatSpring, a leading national renewable energy training company and frequently writes and has been quoted in Greentech MediaRenewable Energy WorldForbesClimate ProgressCleantechies, and Alternative Energy Stocks.

    Event Partners

    You can RSVP for the event here. Thursday October 25th at 6pm EST.

    Posted in Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal | Leave a comment

    State-by-State Comparison of Geothermal Heat Pump Legislation

    I want to thank John Rhyner, Greg Mueller and LI Geo for putting together this report. If you’re new to legislation around renewable thermal technologies this article will provide you a great overview and direction for where you can get more information. Here are a few other articles to read to get up to date:

    Enter John and Greg

    The Long Island Geothermal Energy Organization (LI-GEO) is a newly-formed organization with the primary purpose of promoting and increasing the use of energy-efficient geothermal heat pump technology for building heating and cooling on Long Island, New York.  A core organizational priority of LI-GEO is to guide future legislative and advocacy efforts at the local and state level.  To that end, this document was prepared to establish the current status of geothermal heat pump (GHP) legislation in other states as well as at the federal level.

     INTRODUCTION

    Most states have established a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which is a legislative requirement for utilities operating in the state to obtain a certain amount of the electricity they sell from eligible renewable sources.  For example, utilities in a participating state are required to obtain some percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources in Year 1 with that percentage increasing annually until reaching some maximum percentage after a period of time.  The states are generally assigning one Renewable Energy Credit or Certificate (REC) for every 1,000 kWhs (1 MWh) of electric production from an eligible source.

    Until recently, only traditional renewable technologies including solar PV, wind, “hot rock” geothermal, etc. were deemed eligible technologies under the states’ RPS programs.  GHPs were not considered to be an eligible technology since they do not produce electricity which can be metered.  There is an ongoing debate, often heated, over whether or not a GHP system can be considered a “renewable energy” system.  Some classify GHP technology solely as an energy efficiency measure since it requires electrical energy input.  The industry’s general position is that the technology leverages renewable solar-derived heat stored in the ground and converts it into a useable form, namely building heating, and thus has the same net as other renewable energy systems such as solar thermal.  Further, for cooling, heat is removed from a building and rejected back into the ground where it is stored and can be accessed again during the upcoming heating season.  The technology also offers significant demand reduction potential, particularly relative to electric resistive heating and other conventional cooling systems.

    Circumventing the renewable debate, a growing number of states are recognizing the overall societal benefits of GHPs and have begun allowing utilities to meet their RPS requirements by awarding “Thermal RECs” for GHP systems.  A Thermal REC is the equivalent thermal energy associated with one MWh of electrical energy, or 3,412,000 BTUs of thermal energy.  Much of this trend has been the result of efforts by a strong advocacy movement led in part by national and regional-based geothermal advocacy groups including The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), National Ground Water Association (Geothermal Heat Pump Interest Group), New England Geothermal Professionals Association (NEGPA), and others.  As a result, there is growing momentum amongst the states towards incentivizing the use of GHP systems to meet rising RPS mandates.

    STATE LEGISLATION AND INITIATIVES

    At the forefront of state GHP legislation are recently-enacted laws in Maryland and New Hampshire, which now allow utilities in these states to meet RPS requirements using Thermal RECs generated by GHP systems.  The Maryland and New Hampshire programs now categorize GHPs as “renewable” and include them in the same incentive category as solar PV, wind, etc.  Details on each bill are presented below along with summaries of some other states that have or are considering provisions for Thermal RECs or for provisions which would otherwise allow GHPs to contribute toward satisfying RPS requirements.

    Maryland:  S.B. 652, H.B. 1186 – Enacted 5/22/12

    In May of 2012 Maryland passed legislation allowing geothermal heating and cooling systems commissioned on or after January 1, 2013, that meet certain standards to qualify as a Tier I “Renewable Source” for the purposes of the state’s RPS mandate.  According to the legislation the owner of the geothermal system will receive RECs based on the number of annual Btu’s of thermal energy supplied by the system and converted into MWhs.  One REC will be awarded for each MWh produced.  Systems must be designed and installed in accordance with local regulations.  The Maryland legislation includes GHPs in the same Tier I Renewable Source designation as solar, wind, biomass and other traditional renewable technologies. 

    New Hampshire:  S.B. 218 – Enacted 6/22/12

    In June of 2012, New Hampshire enacted a law that classifies geothermal thermal energy, including thermal energy produced using a GHP system, as a “Class I – New Renewable Energy.”  This class previously included electricity produced by wind, methane, landfill and biomass gas, wave/ocean power and others but was extended by the bill to include thermal energy from GHP and solar thermal systems.  The bill defines “Useful Thermal Energy” as “renewable energy delivered from Class I sources that can be metered and for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed.”  As in Maryland, one REC is credited for each MWhr of Useful Thermal Energy produced by the system.  The New Hampshire legislation requires that “a qualified producer of useful thermal energy shall provide for the metering of useful thermal energy produced in order to calculate the quantity of megawatt-hours for which renewable energy certificates are qualified, and to report to the public utilities commission…Monitoring, reporting, and calculating the useful thermal energy produced in each quarter shall be expressed in megawatt-hours, where each 3,412,000 BTUs of useful thermal energy is equivalent to one megawatt-hour.”  The bill sets a REC price of $55 for Class I sources.

    Other State Initiatives Recognizing Thermal Energy/RECs 

    Wisconsin – In May 2010, the Wisconsin RPS was amended to allow specified non-electric resources that produce a measurable and verifiable displacement of conventional electricity resources to also qualify as eligible resources for obtaining Renewable Resource Credits (RRCs, Wisconsin’s version of RECs).  GHPs, biomass, solar water heating and solar light pipes are listed as eligible technologies.  This means that, like New Hampshire and Maryland, non-electric thermal energy from a GHP system may contribute toward the RPS, but the RRCs awarded are calculated based on the amount of conventional electricity displaced (electricity from non-renewable resources) rather than the actual thermal energy produced.

    Continue reading

    Posted in Clean Energy Policu, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal | 1 Comment

    A Guaranteed 5 Year, $100/MWh FIT For Renewable Thermal Sources Could Eliminate Oil Use for Single Family Homes in Vermont

    “A Simple Plan for Eliminating Oil Usage for Single Family Homes in Vermont” was the message of my talk at Renewable Energy Vermont 2012 last Monday.

    If you’re working in the renewable energy industry in Vermont, you should join REV. For your viewing pleasure, here is my recorded presentation.

    Just to give you some perspective about the “cost” of this incentive for Vermont; currently, the solar PV incentive in Vermont is $271/MWh for 25 years, this incentive is $100/MWh for 5 years. And it’s directly replacing oil use. However, people will still ask “how will you pay for it?”, so I go more into that subject below.

    But first, production-based incentives solve a lot of issues at once.

    1. You don’t need to pick a specific technology. Since the goal is to eliminate oil usage and there are many different technologies, client needs, and buildings, etc, it makes sense to incentivize all technologies evenly. This way, the best technology can be used for the right site in the right application. This hits on the fundamental point that we’ll need all these technologies to eliminate oil usage.
    2. Quality Across the Supply Chain. By only paying for production and energy that is actually used, the program will maintain quality across the whole supply chain – manufacturing, design, installation – something that we’ve learned “installed costs incentives” are horrible at.
    3. Transparency reduces risk and increases trust. By being able to track the performance of a system, the property owner can make sure it’s running correctly and that they are saving money. Additionally, if anything goes wrong, it’s much easier to figure out what exactly is happening. Also, if the state publishes the data, it will be very clear the firms that are doing the best and worst work. This will allow property owners and the private industry to determine best projects, good projects and bad projects. The best firms will quickly rise to the top and win all the business, and the worst firms go out of business.

    How would this look look across many technologies? A sample home is 2000 square foot home that requires 63MM BTU per year

    The “production payment to the homeowner per year” is the line that describes the amount of the $100/MWh FIT inventive. Who could pay for this? On the heat pump side the argument for the electric utility could be made, on the biomass side, the argument could be made to the pellet suppliers. The argument is simple: they are acquiring a new customer for the next 20 years so it would make sense for them subsidize the initial investment to overcome the primary barrier for the consumer.

    Here’s the lifetime value of a customer and how much it would cost to incentivize the fuel cost for 5 years.

    I put together another small video to explain these numbers in more detail.

    Posted in Clean Energy Policu, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal | Leave a comment

    Lessons Learned and a Step by Step Guide to Creating Renewable Energy Workshops and Selling $$

    (Max Joel from Solar1 speaking to a packed crowd. Notice the solar module to his left.)

    Two weeks ago, I held my first building tour and energy workshop in NYC and it was a huge success. So, I wanted to provide a very specific walkthrough of what exactly I did, why, and how you can apply it to your business.

    Recap

    • I spent about 15 hours marketing the event and delivering it
    • We had 20 RSVPs, a 50 person wait-list, and 20 people showed up the event.
    • 5 people said they were currently looking for solar on their roof, no one was doing remodeling work or wanted HVAC work done.
    • 2 solid leads, none have closed yet, but site visits are scheduled.

    The case and strategy for workshop

    • Batch processes leads is the most efficient way to handle leads in terms of profit / time
    • Teaching someone is the best way to win the trust of potential clients.
    • The goal of marketing is to establish yourself as subject matter expert, and someone that property owners can respect, can trust, and can get good advice from. Teaching people does all this at once (hint: we do the same thing for Heatspring, notice how I’m teaching you something right now ;)
    • I’ve wrote some more details posts about holding workshops in the past. 

    Step by step plan that you can use to create your own workshop

    1 – Find a Location. 

    • I’m extremely lucky in that I have an amazing building to use, so obviously this was the best choice for me.
    • If you don’t have a building you could also consider 1) a project you did with a client that really loves you and their system. If you’re going to do this, you’ll have to limit the number of people significantly because you’ll be walking through someone’s property. Only a small number of clients will be okay with this, so pick wisely  or 2) use a community space that has an existing list in a space where you want to sell. This could be YMCA, Chamber of Commerce, etc.

    2 – Invite Guest speakers – Why? What specifically do you do and look for?

    I feel that having guest speakers is very key to a successful event, especially if it’s your first event, for a few reasons. It makes the event less about you and more about learning amazing material, which makes it easier to market. It adds credibility to the event, again, because it’s not just about you. Also, you can pick a speaker from an organization that has a list of people that you could sell to, so it increases your marketing reach. For my event, I had two guest speakers. Here are their bios.

    I picked these speakers because they had something important to say, are very credible, and market to property owners that are also likely to buy my services. ALSO, these are also organizations that I personally am a huge fan of so it’s not hard for me talk them up and I WANT to help them as well.

    About the Super Special Speaker: Max Rubinstein

    Deconstruction Manager, Max Rubinstein, from Build It Green!NYC will be speaking about incorporating reuse and recycling in your next home renovation project. Deconstruction is the selective and careful dismantling of buildings to maximize re-use and recycling rates. Build It Green!NYC’s Deconstruction Team can professionally dismantle anything from a kitchen to a whole house, uninstalling the items carefully and removing the items as a tax deductible donation.  Decon is also your best environmental, and often financial, alternative to the landfill!

    About BIG!NYC: Build It Green!NYC, is New York City’s only non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials. Our warehouse has everything from panel doors to high end refrigerators and shutters to movie props. Our mission is to keep these materials out of the landfill, while offering deep discounts on their resale. We are sponsored by Community Environmental Center (CEC)www.cecenter.org. Founded in late 2004, our Astoria warehouse opened in February of 2005. Our second reuse center opened in November 2011 and is now open 7 days a week in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Learn more at www.bignyc.org.

    Speaker Bio: Max spearheads the Deconstruction program at Build It Green!NYC. The recurring scene of perfectly good building materials crushed at the bottom of a dumpster led him to BIG!NYC, and he’s never looked back. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Max attended Bard College where he received a Bachelor of Arts in film. Since then he has really cultivated his skills as a precision craftsman, having worked as a fabricator, cabinetmaker and carpenter, all in NYC.

    About our Second Speaker: Max Joel, Solar One

    Max Joel is the former Director of the Energy Connections Program at Solar One, a non-profit green energy, arts, and education center based in New York City. The Energy Connections Program develops education, outreach, and community partnership projects in an effort to make all New Yorkers part of our city’s ambitious efforts to combat climate change and develop a clean, green economy. Ongoing projects include Clean Energy Connections, a discussion series and networking hub for NYC’s emerging cleantech economy, and Whole Building Education, which trains the managers, staff, and residents of low-income housing in energy savings behaviors and management strategies. Max also served as a NYSERDA Energy $mart Communities Coordinator, helping building owners and businesses access incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

    Previously, Max was the Capital Projects Coordinator for the Queens Botanical Garden, where he facilitated the construction of New York City’s first public building to achieve LEED Platinum certification. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where his thesis explored emerging and innovative strategies for financing green community development. Max is a 2008 Doris Duke Conservation Fellow and serves on the Advisory Board of the Jewish Greening Fellowship. He is currently consulting with Solar One and launching his own consulting practice specializing in renewable energy and community development.

    Here is the exact email I used to invite the speakers.

    3 – Create event outline, what exactly people will learn and determine a date.

    I use eventbrite, because it’s super simple and free.

    What to keep in mind when outline the event:

    • Credibility. Make sure to include multiple pieces of information that boost your credibility so people feel fine spending their time to listen to you. In my case, I used the building and it’s press as credibility, as well as my own writing engagements and the credibility of having other speakers.
    • Make sure you’re very clear about what they will learn. I like to keep it very simple with a bullet pointed list: “YOU WILL LEARN THIS!”
    • Make sure that information is useful to them. In all of these events, you’re most likely targeting people that are in research model when it comes to green building and clean energy, so you want to be clear how the information will be useful to a specific group of people.
    • You can see the event page here, feel free to copy it. 
    Posted in Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar and Geothermal Sales and Marketing Tips, Solar Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal | Leave a comment

    [Photos] Repairing a 30 Year Old Solar Thermal System in NYC

    Last week, I spent a day repairing a solar thermal system that has been operating for more then 30 years in NYC. I just wanted to share a few pictures and points because it’s super cool.

    • The system was installed in installed in 1980, expected “payback” (don’t ever use that term again) was just around 3 years
    • The client paid $3,200 for the system, which is about $8,900 in todays dollars.
    • The system was providing 70-80% of the hot water for 2 families
    • It was offsetting natural gas, which was expensive for a long time, and current prices are going back up, to the tune of 70%.  
    • DAS Solar Systems was the name of the EPC contractor in NYC. They’re aren’t around anymore.
    • The name of the module manufacture was SunWorks, the spec sheet said New Haven, CT but I’m assuming they were imported from Israel.
    The system is in the heart of NYC

    You can even see the module from google earth! There were 6 existing modules, but we replaced them with 4.

    Front of the house. Getting equipment on roofs in NYC can be an issue.

    The old modules. They held up pretty well, and managed to work 12 years after their “warranty” expired.

    Again, the help up remarkably well well. There was a small amount of rust on the back sheets.

    The rack was pretty simple and standard using unistrut. In fact, I’ve built a system that was 6 modules in Medford and were used the exact same parts as this! Though the roof flashing was a little different.

    Continue reading

    Posted in Geothermal and Solar Design and Installation Tips, Solar Thermal | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment