Thursday, July 8, 2010

Elisolar Combines Shading and Thermal Collection in One Attractive Package

Elisolar has an interesting new line of architectural shading structures that double as solar thermal collectors to heat water.

The shading louvers are aluminum.  Water to be heated is run through each of the shading louvers to pick up solar heat.  The water is supplied by PEX tubes that are concealed by the louver support frames.  The structure simultaneously provides shading for the building and heats water.

As indicated by the red areas in the diagram above, the shading structures can be used in a number of locations on a building.

Given that the "collectors" are unglazed and open to air circulation, a high collection efficiency should not be expected -- especially in cold climates.  But, the advantage of getting both shading and water heating out of one simple device may offset the expected low efficiency.  Elisolar is in the process of getting SRCC certification, so performance data should be available soon.

Anyway, this idea of combining shading and collection seems like a good one, and might take other forms -- any ideas?

If nothing else, it should keep overzealous Home Owner Associations at bay.

The Elisolar website... 
See the Experimental page for more mind stretching adventures in solar energy use :)
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