Thermal Products, Inc. Hydronic Heating and Solar Thermal Wholesaler

Shoreline Solar Festival a Success

July 20th, 2010

I thought that I would share a few pics from the 2010 Shoreline Solar Festival. There seemed to be lots of public support for the renewable energy sector as well interest in learning more about what can be done to lessen ones energy bills and environmental impact (unless the goal is to make a large POSITIVE environmental impact!).

All that being said, while it was fun to see the interest and exciting to realize that there are more and more venues out there to push solar andother renewables as mainstream energy sources…Solar Thermal is still a less attractive option for a lot of people! It’s hard for me to see why, when it can pay back in less time than the photovoltaic solar systems without a lot of the incentive programs that are needed to make that latter technology remotely viable.

The other thing that puzzles me about the whole deal is that solar electric (pv) is great for other parts of the country where high energy costs can be seen driving the market. Here in the NW, howeveA & R Solarr, we pay such low rates / kW (approx. 8 cents, I believe?) that after paying for your system that produces, let’s say 3 kW, and imagining that you get 10 hours of light with the collector receiving full light for the whole day….(computing now)…. outside of government incentives, you just saved $2.40!!!

Lastly, you’re buying a pv collector (if it’s a great collector)  with efficiency ratings of 15-20%. That means that 15-20% of the total solar energy that is collected is converted into usable, grid-stable AC current (due in large part by the inverter). Compare this with the 80% efficiency rating of a solar thermal (solar hot water) collector and it seems rather silly to get so excited over running (more like crawling) your meter backwards.

Though I am OBVIOUSLY biased, it is still a welcome site to see that Solar and other renewable energies are making headway in the marketplace. Hopefully, with time and education, solar hot water will get the kudos it deserves and will finally step out of the shadows and into the light!

Take Care,

Ryan Burgett

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