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Cutting Industrial Solar System Costs in Half
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While there are technical, social, environmental and institutional barriers to the widespread use of solar systems, the principle barrier is economic. For commercial and industrial firms to turn to this alternate energy source, the first cost must be sharply reduced so that the annual savings that are achievable will provide an attractive return on the incremental investment. This paper discusses one proven method of combining the energy efficiency of high temperature industrial heat pumps with solar collectors that result in an installed first cost that approximates one half of that of conventional solar systems. This technology is now available for producing up to 220 F hot water for industrial process heat, space heating, and service hot water heating. The basic principles of the technology are reviewed, including the typical operating characteristics of the industrial heat pumps and the solar collectors, plus the generic application schematics comparing this approach with conventional solar collector only systems. Several case histories are reviewed, including an industrial plant, townhouse project, and hospital. Not only is a lower first cost demonstrated, but the combination uses small solar arrays, ideal where roof area is limited, and use less expensive solar collectors.
Niess, R. C.; Weinstein, A. (1982). Cutting Industrial Solar System Costs in Half. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from