Commercial Solar Heating
Solar heating utilizes energy from the sun to heat liquid stored in a solar panel, usually roof mounted, which then transfers this heat to water in a cylinder that is normally in attached to the solar panel (close coupled). The heated water can then either feed straight down into the plumbing of the building to supply hot water or enter into a central heating system to be used in radiators for warming rooms. Commercial solar heating offers huge savings for various sizes and types of commercial, educational and recreational buildings.
Commercial Solar Projects
The types of projects that can benefit from a professionally designed and fitted commercial solar heating system are schools, hotels, factories and office blocks. With solar heating reported as offering a quicker pay back than solar PV panels, many commercial ventures have opted for solar heating as a worthwhile energy saving investment. The number of solar heating panels required for a commercial building will depend on the length of pipe in used to deliver the water to the building, the size of the calorifier (cylinder) and the angle of the solar panels. Large swimming pools can be extremely expensive to heat, both indoor and outdoor, and commercial solar heating can be used to significantly reduce the cost of energy and reduce the negative impact such commercial activities can impose on the environment.
Commercial solar heating can be used to heat multiple dwellings such as an apartment block where several solar panels will be used to heat up to two cylinders (calorifiers) of water which will then be used to supply each of the apartments using the existing pipe work. Alternatively, each apartment can have a dedicated cylinder with flow and return pipes to the solar panels although this configuration is not considered as the most cost effective option.
Commercial Solar Heating Loans
To help encourage small to medium sized businesses invest in commercial solar heating the Carbon Trust is offering interest free loans of up to £100,000 in the UK and up to £200,000 in Northern Ireland. It is available when a SME upgrades or replaces a central heating system with energy saving and environmentally friendly alternatives. The Carbon trust is a not-for-profit company set up by the UK government to encourage businesses and the public sector to invest in low carbon technologies and help reduce carbon emissions. The Carbon trust also aims to help increase SME's profitability by promoting the use of commercial solar heating and similar technologies to reduce fuel bills whilst lowering the contribution to global warming.
Commercial solar heating offers the potential of huge energy cost savings whilst reducing the negative impact on the environment.