Case studies: real savings and increased efficiency
“Thanks, Solar Wave!”
“Without the data provided by Solar Wave, it would have take us much longer to:
- see the problems through indirect evidence
- identify the source of the problem and prescribe improvements
- demonstrate the efficacy of solutions.”
The principal scientist for the premier New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Project discusses how Solar Waver’s real-time performance data resulted in rapid, accurate identification of multiple design and construction problems in the solar thermal system at a local Laundromat/carwash in Hoosick Falls, NY.
Results? Problem solved and proof that solar energy improves a business’ bottom line while reducing its carbon footprint.
“Ever since we completed the installation of a 10-panel drain-back system and the Solar Wave Monitoring we noted pumping rates did not meet design expectations. We examined the date carefully and concluded there was a blockage in the solar array return pipe. After we disassembled that line and indeed found the impediment, we thought our pumping problems were over. Wrong!
New data that the monitoring provided revealed another problem – erratic flow rates and periods of no-flow whatsoever. This information sent us on a new quest: again, we reviewed the flow and temperature data and decided that we should move the pump – but that didn’t work. In desperation, we reviewed our piping design and realized that our drain-back tank bypass line allowed returning fluid laced with air bubbles to enter the pump. We cut and capped the drain-back bypass and tried the pump again. The pump rain solid – AT LAST!
The bypass caused a liquid/air mix to reach the pump, inducing cavitation. No more drain-back bypasses in my designs!
Now the public and NYSERDA can see just how well solar-thermal systems can improve the bottom line and reduce the carbon footprint of this facility in Hoosick Falls, New York.
Peter N. Skinner, P.E.
Principal Scientist – E2G Solar, LLC
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Before you Install
Thermal-Grid monitoring facilitates smart decisions prior to system purchase. Solar Wave recomends monitoring building load for a customer considering a large solar thermal system, so size matches the real energy demand. Thermal-Grid's load data from the proposed site with solar production data from similar nearby sites will ensure engineers have information to size the new system with the best return on investment.