NewEnergyNews: Sunnovations: Solar Hot Water Is Where the Money Is; A huge market globally, solar hot water is an almost untapped market in the U.S. that’s still innovating and cutting costs.

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Global New Energy To Boom Through 2040
  • Weekend Video: The Power Of The Sun
  • Weekend Video: World’s First Floating Wind Project
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Three Top Takeaways From The Bonn Climate Summit
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Seven Global New Energy Trends
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World’s First Floating Wind Project Goes Online
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-VW Commits $11.8BIL EV Spend In China
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, November 16:

  • TTTA Thursday-Big Thumbs Up For Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’
  • TTTA Thursday- Trends In Global New Energy Through 2040
  • TTTA Thursday-How Wind Energy Learned To Be Better
  • TTTA Thursday-The Secret To See-Through Solar
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Does New Energy threaten power reliability?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How the Colorado decoupling proposal united Xcel and distributed energy advocates
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How Distributed Solar Is Cutting Aussie’s Power Costs
  • QUICK NEWS, November 14: Green Roofs To Fight Climate Change; Solar Tariffs Threaten National Security; Unions Back Great Lakes Wind
  • TODAY’S STUDY: U.S. Solar Is Growing Diversity With Power
  • QUICK NEWS, November 13: Sponge Cities Can Help The Climate Fight; Surf’s Down – Wave Power Travails; Powering Homes With Car Batteries
  • TODAY’S STUDY: U.S. Solar Is Growing Diversity With Power
  • QUICK NEWS, November 13: Sponge Cities Can Help The Climate Fight; Surf’s Down – Wave Power Travails; Powering Homes With Car Batteries
  • --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    click image for more info about the Sunstock Solar Festival

    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, November 20:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How Green Is The Tech World?
  • QUICK NEWS, November 20: The U.S. Is Starting To Get It; New Energy Buying Goes Mainstream; House, Senate To Face Off Over Wind Support

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    Sunnovations: Solar Hot Water Is Where the Money Is; A huge market globally, solar hot water is an almost untapped market in the U.S. that’s still innovating and cutting costs.

    Sunnovations: Solar Hot Water Is Where the Money Is; A huge market globally, solar hot water is an almost untapped market in the U.S. that’s still innovating and cutting costs.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 19, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    There are about 200 million solar water heating (SWH) systems in the world. There are about one million systems in the U.S. Year-on-year numbers, even during the recession, showed SWH to be an expanding domestic industry.

    There are approximately 100 million residential water heating systems in the U.S., according to Sunnovations CEO Matt Carlson, and just under half use electricity, fuel oil or propane. “I’m looking at a market of 50-million-plus homes that don’t use natural gas to heat their water,” he said. “That’s a pretty sizeable market, and that’s where the opportunity is.”

    In the U.S., natural gas is cheap and the infrastructure to deliver it is in place. Though many market watchers expect increased competition from liquid natural gas (LNG) exporters to soon drive the domestic price up, Carlson and other SWH proponents admit they cannot compete with natural gas at its present low rates.

    Eight million water heaters are sold yearly in the U.S., Carlson said, at a cost of $1,000 to $1,500. The yearly water heating bill of a typical family of four with an electric system, he said, is $400 to $500, the second biggest energy cost to homeowners. It is more than “all of the load from the lighting and electronics of a home,” he added, and a solar system “is going to substitute for a good three-quarters of that, depending on where you are.”

    The economics of SWH also depends on how much hot water is used. Commercial systems for businesses like agricultural and industrial operations, laundromats, and hotels are more economically viable. Companies like Skyline Innovations and FLS Solar offer third-party financing of SWH systems through power purchase agreements (PPAs) that allow commercial consumers access to solar water heating without bearing upfront costs or owner responsibilities.

    Provided as part of an overall building retrofit and energy management project, third-party financing allows business customers to pay for hot water on the basis of what they would have spent with the previous system. Margins allow the installer to own, maintain, and profit on the SWH system over the course of a twelve-year contract.

    “On the residential side, there are not many models out there yet, largely because you can't easily measure or net-meter thermal energy,” Carlson said. “The availability of third-party finance has made it easier to sell PV and in some respects has crowded out SHW.” Sunnovations and competitors like Alternative Energy Technologies, SunEarth, SHUCO and Solar Hot do not have federal incentives like those that boost residential solar PV.

    A residential SWH system usually has a five-year to seven-year payback, depending on local conditions, fuel costs and incentives, but “we need the U.S. homeowner to be aware of this as an option,” Carlson explained, because “homeowners don’t always buy things for strictly economic reasons. What’s the payback on the water heater they have in their home right now? What’s the payback on the granite countertop they bought?”

    A SWH system has a water heating tank that functions, Carlson explained, “exactly like a regular water heating tank except that it has a solar pre-heating heat exchange element in it that takes away the heating that the gas or electricity would do.” It also has “a backup heating element, because it is not sunny all the time.” SWH is, he said, “a fairly simple technology. A heat transfer fluid, glycol, runs through panels on the roof. The heated fluid runs into the tank and, voila, hot water.”

    Sunnovations is, Carlson said, “a startup with some resources that is trying to push the market.” It has raised $1.25 million in external capital. Its mission is to drive the costs of residential SWH down. “Solar thermal for water heating is too expensive right now,” he said. “Our technology,” he added, is “lower-cost because we are removing components that are expensive and time consuming to install.”

    Engineer and entrepreneur Arnoud Van Houten, a veteran of the IT sector, invented the Sunnovations technology and founded the company about four years ago because “what was on the market wasn’t fulfilling the potential of SWH in the U.S.”

    Carlson acknowledged Sunnovations only has "several dozen systems in the field” but said the company does have “a distribution network up and down the East Coast.” Installers are reporting, he said, that “our system price on an installed basis is at least a thousand dollars less than comparable systems [and] that the install time is almost always a single day.” One installer, he added, “reported they were saving ten man-hours per job.”

    Sunnovations just announced three technical advances that Carlson said are industry firsts: (1) The only “self-pumped” systems given the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” by SWH industry certifier Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC); (2) the only closed-loop glycol systems certified by the SRCC to use PEX for the solar loop piping; and (3) the only systems with passive overheat protection

    “Sandia National Labs did a ten-year failure rate [study] of active pump systems,” Carlson explained, “and found a 50 percent failure rate, and then identified the most common failure points. Our system simply doesn’t have two-thirds of the most common failure points, the components that are most prone to failure.”

    Sunnovations is keenly aware that “costs are too high now,” Carlson said, “but we are working toward a subsidy-independent technology.”

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home