This Lincolnville, Maine installation has 90 evacuated tubes (at top) and
20 solar electric panels arranged between the skylights.

Cynthia Lao has taken a giant step away from fossil fuel energy dependence by converting almost every inch of her south-facing roof to solar energy collection.

At the peak is a 90-tube Apricus solar hot water collector array, which will produce roughly 25 million BTUs of clean, renewable heat energy annually.

This energy is stored in a 160-gallon solar storage tank with three inches of rigid foam insulation to prevent overnight heat loss. In fact, ReVision has tested the tank and found that heat loss is less than .5 degree F per hour, which works out to less than 6 degrees from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

When the sun is shining, the system will easily produce 100% of domestic hot water. Plus, during the early fall and late spring, the system will have excess heat capacity which will be used to heat the radiant floor system.

In the heart of the heating season, when less solar energy is available, the existing boiler will come on for space heat and domestic hot water as necessary to ensure there is a consistent supply of comfortable hot water, and a comfortably heated home.

Also installed is a 4.5 kilowatt grid-tied solar electric array below the solar hot water collectors and above the existing skylights.

The system is comprised of twenty 225-watt SunPower solar electric modules and one SunPower 4000m inverter. This system is expected to produce 6,150 kwhrs of clean, renewable electricity per year, offsetting roughly 8,200 lbs. of CO2 emissions annually.

With no moving parts anywhere in the system, grid-tied PV is the most reliable renewable energy technology.

This is why PV systems come with a 25-year warranty! When you combine the 26% federal tax credit and $2,000 state rebate, grid-tied solar electricity becomes an attractive investment opportunity because you can lock in your electric rate for the next three decades.

More Photos from Our Commercial Solar Photo Gallery:

[zenphotopress album=79 number=30]

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