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Solar Hot Water

Strategy-Chapters_Solar-Hot-Water_main
Section of solar hot water system at the Convent of the Sacred Heart Athletic & Wellness Center.

OVERVIEW
Solar hot water systems use solar radiation to heat water year-round for domestic use.

BENEFITS
+ Can offset a large portion of utility costs
+ More efficient than photovoltaic systems
+ Zero emissions
+ Zero energy use

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
+ Higher initial costs compared to conventional water heating systems
+ Incentives exist to offset initial cost, such as NYSERDA’s “PON 2149” program, which offers rebates up to $4,000 for residential and $25,000 non-residential (Expires:12/31/15)

PROCESS
Systems with ‘evacuated tube collectors’ are most efficient. Each glass or metal pipe containing heat transfer fluid is surrounded by a larger glass tube. The tube shape is ideal for the collection of solar energy. Light reflects within the tube, heating the fluid. The fluid then passes through a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat to the domestic water supply. The non-freezing fluid then cycles back to the collectors. These collectors work well in overcast conditions and operate in temperatures as low as -40°F.

Strategy-Chapters_Solar-Hot-Water_body

 

CASE STUDIES
Convent of the Sacred Heart Athletic & Wellness Center
BKSK Architects
New York, NY

53,000 square feet

Bright ‘n Green Condominiums
Robert Scarano Architect
Brooklyn, NY

6,500 square feet

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Solar Thermal (Hot Water) Resources
NY State Energy Research and Development Authority

NYC Solar Water Heating Roadmap
The City University of New York