Solar Today Fall 2016 : Page 26
wineries & breweries The most widespread solar thermal application is water heating. A typical residential-sized solar water heating system produces 7 to 10 kWh per day, or 3,400 kWh per year, depending on local condi-tions and type of collector and the system design. On average, for each such system installed in place of an electric water heater, 0.5 kW of peak demand is deferred from the utility’s load. When a utility solar water heating program like Hawaii’s has thousands of solar water heaters installed displacing electricity, the demand reduction is measured in megawatts. So, what’s the problem in Florida? I refer to it as the land of the electric water heater and little poten-tial for natural gas expansion. It is also a state with a huge coastline, barrier islands and water shortages that are being ignored by the pro-business electric utility legislature. It’s been documented many times in the past, solar water heating in Florida is a net rev-enue loss to the electric utilities. Isn’t less electricity generation using fossil fuels one of the solutions to climate change and rising sea levels? Who has the most to lose; the electric utility industry, the coastal businesses and homeowners or possibly the whole Florida economy? What are the long term plans for rising waters and drinking water shortages? That is a stupid question. Why make plans when you deny there is a problem. Climate change plans would have a negative impact on future political contributions for those in office who support studying the prob-lem. A commercial solar water heating system with 500ft 2 of collector will displace the hot water gen-erated by a small natural-gas-fired boiler, generat-ing 2,281 therms per year and offsetting more than 26,825 pounds of CO 2 . On a larger scale, solar ther-mal energy creates economic development and local jobs in manufacturing, installation, operations and maintenance. Commercial SIPH plants will provide the neces-sary energy for: • • • • • Industrial Process Heat Desalination Food and Beverage processing Solar Cooling & Refrigeration systems ORC or Stirling electric generation Space heating Similar to solar water heating systems, these systems generally use more solar collectors, larger storage units, and more sophisticated designs. Con-centrating or tracking solar thermal technologies are required to meet space heating loads. For the higher temperatures needed for hydronic forced air heating systems (180 o F) temperatures, Flat Plate collectors 26 FALL 2016 SOLAR TODAY Copyright © 2014 American Solar Energy Society. All rights reserved.