Unfortunately, solar thermal installations don’t receive much attention in the media, so Free Hot Water offers this run down of some notable solar thermal success stories that we’ve recently seen in the US market.
Clif Bars’ HQ and Test Kitchens Go Solar Thermal
Clif Bar, the organic energy bar and snack company, has received LEED Platinum Green Building certification for its Emeryville, Calif, headquarters. Among the technologies that contributed to the LEED Platinum award is a solar thermal system that provides 70% of the hot water needed for the office building’s test kitchens, showers, cafeteria, childcare center, and more. On the solar PV side, a 531.6 kW DC system generates about 90% of the energy needed by Clif Bar’s 115,000 sq. ft. building.
Built by San Francisco-based DPR Construction and designed by ZGF Architects based in Portland, Ore, Clif Bar’s headquarters was completed in 2010. In addition to solar technologies, Clif Bar earned LEED Platinum for its energy efficiency, materials selection, sustainable site development, water savings, and indoor environmental quality.
Students Fund Solar Heated Pool Project at Western Washington University
Western Washington University’s indoor pool is getting a solar hot water upgrade—thanks to its students, who are committed to reducing the university’s carbon footprint with their own money.
Through WWU’s Green Energy Fee Grant Program, students research how to green the University and apply for green energy project awards. Each project is funded through the students, who pay a $7 green energy fee per quarter.
The latest program award went to a group of students who wanted to heat the University’s pool and recreation center, saving 25% to 40% on the rec center’s annual water heating costs. After receiving competitive bids, the students received $219,511 from the Green Energy Grant. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2014 and may be a model for adding solar hot water to WWU dorms and other buildings on campus.
The City of Milwaukee Invests In Solar Thermal
The City of Milwaukee’s solar program Milwaukee Shines, is well known for promoting the adoption of solar energy throughout the Milwaukee area, but the city isn’t just promoting solar. It’s putting its words into action and installing solar thermal on various city facilities, especially on city firehouses.
So far, six City of Milwaukee fire engine houses have installed small solar hot water systems on their roofs, while other city facilities are taking advantage of other renewable energy systems.
Slowly but surely, solar thermal is growing in the United States. If you’ve got solar thermal installation news—especially news with Free Hot Water products or engineering services—send it our way at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us as much detail as possible, especially its application, size, and estimated annual energy savings.