Solar Thermal a HOT topic at this year’s Home Show!

The 2015 AHBA Home Show is in the books! It was great to get out and talk with people about their hopes and dreams for a new home or a better home. It is apparent based on what I saw over this past weekend that folks are interested in reducing their energy dependence – either through upgrading their heating system or investing in a new hot water system. But the most interest was in regard to Solar Thermal and other renewable energy systems.

KLEBS was able to partner with Kerry Gronewold and Alascorp in presenting 2 seminars at the home show focusing on Solar Thermal and integration with other heat inputs. The seminars were well attended with much discussion about projects both in the Anchorage area and more remote cabin installations.

Kerry presented the seminar which focused on how to integrate various renewable energy sources (Geothermal, Solar Thermal, Wood Boiler, etc.) correctly into a conventional heating system. I can speak from experience that if these systems are not integrated properly and able to be monitored in real time, you as a homeowner will have little confidence in exactly how the system is working. It is far from ideal to make an investment in solar or other renewable energy and not be sure how it is performing. That is where the SolarLogic controller comes in.

Solar Logic believes that through standard piping and design principals, combined with a universal control system, ensures that a solar thermal system will be used to its maximum potential. Standardized piping practices includes primary/secondary plumbing piping, separating water from glycol systems. Combine that with “Closely Spaced” tees and check valves, and you have a universal system that is organized and controllable. The Glycol system consists of certain heat inputs (Wood Boiler, Solar Thermal, etc.) and could even consist of some heat outputs (Snowmelt system). The water loop consists of heat inputs (fuel boiler) and other various heat outputs (Radiant system, water storage, etc.).
With SolarLogic’s SLIC (SolarLogic Integrated Controller) all those heat inputs and outputs can be controlled effectively, pulling heat from solar thermal panels when they are able to produce, and sending that energy to areas that can accept the energy the best. In some cases, this energy is used right away. In other cases, it is stored for use at a later time. In addition, the system has a great user interface that can be accessed from anywhere in the world by logging into the SLIC portal.

Solar Thermal is a very viable option for the state of Alaska. The current 30% federal tax credit will expire in 2016, so now is the time to take advantage of Solar Thermal and other renewable energy systems. KLEBS completed the largest Solar Thermal project in the state of Alaska in 2014 – installing 64 panels at a 4 story multi-unit facility in Eagle River. We are currently installing a 12-panel system in Anchorage for CIHA at the Susitna Square development. We are happy to be a leader in Solar Thermal in Alaska, and with great partners like Alascorp, SolarLogic, and Heliodyne, we can design and plan a system that will work best for you! We love to talk about renewable energy, so give us a call today! Also, check out SolarLogic for many tools and free software downloads

And if you made it to one of the seminars, let us know what you learned or took away from the presentation!