Sun the Star of the Show at Gritty’s Solar Saturday
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Last week the sun greeted us in full force for a celebration of solar energy at Gritty McDuff’s in Freeport, Maine.
The event, dubbed “Solar Saturday,” featured live music by Josh Rollson and Megan Jo Wilson, eco-friendly vendors, great food, great Gritty’s drinks and family friendly activities. ReVision and WCLZ co-hosted the event and in attendance were our sister company, ReVision Heat, ski area Mt Abram, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and Rook Energy.
Solar Powered Brewing
Solar hot water is a no-brainer for buildings with significant hot water loads, such as hotels, restaurants, and breweries.
These businesses use large amounts of hot water and by switching over to the sun they can repay a solar investment extremely quickly.
Generally the solar hot water collectors are plumbed as the primary source of domestic hot water, with some sort of fossil-fuel backup, ideally a modulating on-demand unit so that an unlimited supply of hot water is available for the least possible amount of energy.
When the sun is adequate to supply the building’s hot water needs, the backup appliance won’t be used at all. If the solar is not quite enough, the system functions as a pre-heat and the backup raises the hot water temperature the just amount it needs to to go into the restaurant.
In Gritty’s case, we installed 12 flat plate solar hot water collectors with three super-insulated hot water tanks plumbed in parallel. For backup, we replaced an extremely inefficient high mass residential scale boiler used to heat a water tank with a super-efficient on-demand unit.
The result is a system that will produce over 480,000 BTUs of clean solar thermal heat on an average summer day. That’s enough to reduce Gritty’s propane usage by 2,600 gallons a year.
After factoring in the various government financial incentives, the system should pay for itself after the first year.
That’s enough to make anyone feel, well, sunny!
More Photos from Our Commercial Solar Photo Gallery:
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