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Why Solar Thermal?
Heating water with the sun is as old as man. The technologies developed in solar thermal panels in the past few decades have brought the possibity of the solar heating either water or air a cost effective option almost anywhere you live.
We typically use an active indirect closed loop system: An active system means that a pump is used to actively circulate the water/glycol solution through the system; an indirect system heats the gylcol solution through the panels and sends it to a heat exchange unit where it heats the water; and a closed-loop system continually recirculates the same glycol solution through the entire system.
Heated water from a solar thermal system can then be stored in a solar thermal tank to be used as needed. Another popular option is to use the preheated water from the solar tank to supply a Tankless Water Heater.
Solar Thermal Panels
Solar thermal panels come in 2 basic designs: Flat Panel and Evacuated Tubes.
Flat Panel is the most common. They can be used to heat either water or air. It is essentially a blackened matrix radiator with darkly coated copper tubes wound back and forth throughout the panel. It can then be covered with a glazing material to protect the system and control the temperature of the system.
Evacuated Tubes are based on the same design of your thermos: create a vacuum space between 2 other layers to act as an insulator to decrease energy loss. Although evacuated tube solar panels come with a higher initial price tag, they also perform better on overcast days since they have the ability to absorb infared energy. This feature makes evacuated tubes more attractive in cooler climates.
Where do you start?
Zetrec Energy Solutions is committed to securing the best possible pricing from the top US solar manufacturers of both Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal systems. Your solar installation consists of a detailed site assessment, full system design, cost analysis, permitting, installation and interconnection with your utility.
- Utility Bill Evaluation – Collect one year of utility bills to evaluate energy usage and average monthly costs.
- Site Review – Determine best location for your solar system. Includes assessment of roof orientation, shading concerns from trees or buildings, quality and age of roofing material, underlying infrastructure and load analysis.
- Financial Incentive Evaluation – Assist in finding all available Federal, State, and Local Utility incentives. Assist in processing and submitting incentives for the customer.
- Solar Site Analysis – Preliminary System Design to include layout, product specifications, system capacity, cost, estimated return on investment and financial options.
- Final Site Survey – All system components, design and layout finalized.
- Engineered Drawings – Stamped engineered drawings to satisfy all local building requirements.
- Construction Permits – Obtain all required building permits and arrange for all final inspections.
- Installation Supervision – With certified and trained electricians and/or plumbers.
- Interconnection with Local Utility – New meter installed by utility and interconnection finalized.
Federal, State and Utility incentives for solar in your area can be found at the DSIRE SOLAR website.
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