I’ve talked about solar thermal (in this case, solar hot water) before. At GreenHomes we’re excited about the elegance, simplicity, and bang-for-the-buck of these systems generating hot water very cost-effectively for homeowners today.
The systems we use work great, and our customers are very happy with them. They would be even better with a way to increase their size even further but get rid of the “extra” heat during the sunny summer months when the system would otherwise generate too much heat. One way to do this is simply “dump” the heat somewhere. But on the near horizon is the ability to use this waste heat to actually help provide cooling! That’s right, the heat from the sun being used to air-condition your home.
EnerWorks, the manufacturer of the flat plate collectors that GreenHomes uses, has already taken a bold step forward with its technology now powering the largest solar thermal heating and cooling installation in the world. The installation in Fletcher, North Carolina provides solar thermal heating and cooling for an industrial/commercial warehouse and offices. [For some of the technical details, see the EnerWorks background piece on this project.]
Solar thermal cooling isn’t quite ready for smaller scale residential projects, but people are working on it, and it should be coming in the next several years. Fortunately, the heating technology is mature and robust and homeowners can start enjoying the benefits of using the sun to heat most of their water right now very cost-effectively. This system we use is fully certified, ENERGY STAR® qualified, and the only system meeting CSA international standards. And the new tax credits make going for solar hot water even easier.
Contact GreenHomes to see if solar hot water makes sense for your home today.