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  • Passive Solar heat for warehouses

    I came across this short video about SolarWall - being used in Fort Gary park. Maybe this is the kind of thing every owner/renter of commercial and warehouse space should consider. They cut their heating costs by 50% or so and Edmonton becomes more "competitive" as a result.

    http://www.ekostv.com/node/348

    Think of the huge number of commercial/industrial buildings in Edmonton and how poorly insulated most of them are. Cinderblock walls - little or not insulation in the roofs. They are generally used 10 or so hrs a day but heated 24-hrs a day.

    So in terms of the environment (gloabal warming and all that), inefficient operating costs and the plain useless wasting of non-renewable energy, I've argued elsewhere that there is a huge disconnect between the builder, owner and renter when it comes to reducing building energy and operating costs.

    Renters often rent quite large if not huge buildings and end up paying much higher operating costs as a result of not having had any say in the original construction of the buiding - so they are stuck with poor design, poor insulation, poor windows, poor furnaces, etc. This saves the builder money - it saves the owner money but raises costs for the renter who has to heat the place. So the renters pass on those extra costs to the consumers if they can. If Edmonton, or Canada for that matter wants to stay competitive, it needs to look at this type of cost reduction / energy saving mechanism.

  • #2
    It's great but have you looked at the cost of that technology? Even a constant hot water costs big bucks but saves money in the long run. I looked at taking my home off the grid and it cost $60,000!

    what i did i built a bunch of windmills cost me hardly anything as the Alternators i bought from pick a part and the blades were from PVC pipe. i put some up at my home in Edmonton and had the city at my door the next day, they do not condone this sort of activity.My thoughts if they dont like it they can come and try to take it from me

    anyways....i got a wind farm located outside the city, most cost was in the battery's but i produce enouph power for a whole nieghborhood and are silent. also fun to watch who would think you can get such enjoyment watching a windmill go round a round...FREE POWA!

    not sure if your handy but i will draw up the plans to build one. cost maybe $100 the smallest one is about 6 ft diam generates about 600 watts . and my biggest 20 ft......The only problem you will encounter is the government as its a tax free, free powa machine and they dont make money off ya.....but hey u save your money and help the environment **** on them

    Comment


    • #3
      It's not about "The Man" keeping independent power producers down, it's about ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the power grid for all parties involved.

      For customers inside the City of Edmonton (EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc service territory) you would need to follow their guide for Distributed Generation found here: http://www.epcor.ca/Customers/Power+Producers/
      Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

      Comment


      • #4
        Noodle has a point, but even after buying and installing the equipment required for a safe connection to the grid, small power producers are not paid the same amount for power they produce as they are charged for power they consume. The prohibition on net metering in Alberta is 100% about ""The Man" keeping independent power producers down."

        As for the commercial building efficiency problem, any smart renter of commercial or industrial space will be willing to pay $1 more in rent to save $2 in utility costs, and any smart building owner will be catering to that market. So, where is the intelligence lacking?

        Comment


        • #5
          I tossed around the idea of building a home made solar collector to heat my garage, but abandonned the idea as my prototype, made out of black PVC, tinfoil, plexiglass and plywood failed to deliver the heat transfer that I was hoping for.

          Basically, the hope was that I could affix the collector to the roof of my garage, and run glycol through a series of 1/2" painted black plastic PVC pipes that run through a panel made out of plexiglass, and a series of concave tin foil bases (one for each pipe) to reflect the solar radiation at the pipes. The series of pipes would start and end at a header, so there would be one common inlet and one common outlet at the panel. A small circulating pump would push the glycol through the collector, then through a fan coil mounted at ceiling level inside the garage.

          I did manage to generate 50 degree glycol with my prototype collector, but the glycol had to sit in the collector for almost 20 minutes with ambient temperature at about -5 to raise the temperature up that high. The unit also failed in anything except direct sunlight. I imagine that if I had access to some better technology I could do better, but in my opinion this method of solar collection would be difficult and costly in our winter climate.

          I have abandonned this project in favor of building a biodiesel refinery. Anyone got an old diesel Benz they want to part with ?
          Over promise and under deliver. It’s the most Edmonton thing you can do.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah - I've always wanted a house totally "off the grid". However, a lot of "solar" geothermal applications seem to leave you still connected - and so you're stuck paying the hefty fixed capital gas or electric charges while only reducing the variable (fuel) charges. So you really don't save much considering all the effort.

            As for these solarwall things - it's just black tin so how much could it be - it just hangs on the wall preheats the air via the sunshine. So it seems well suited for daytime business operations. Maybe there's better brands or jsut DIYs of these kinds of passive heaters out there but at the link below it says FEDEX expect to save $7,000 a year at its location. Maybe Edmonton's building owners and renters need ot start Googling passive solar etc, and start thinking about cheap ways to get free heat to reduce their rising costs.

            http://www.eaglehillcoop.com/html/solar_wall.html

            Comment


            • #7
              KC:

              I've read about this stuff before, and it's for real. It's a much better concept than passive solar through a South facing window, and certainly cheaper than any heating technology I know (including gas or heat pumps or any other passive solar design.) But what I'm not sure about is how much heat it could generate in our colder extremes. Have you seen a chart or something that shows its output curve at 10 degree intervals down to say -30 or something? I worry that if it's drawing fresh air, its operation could be severly affected by, say, -25 conditions or lower. That being the case, it wouldn't allow a building to scale down its heating equipment much, though guaranteed it would still be able to pay its way down to -10.

              By the way, have you read about the "Barra-Constantini System"? It's fundamentally similar, but places the heat generating metal inside a glazed casing and circulates the indoor air through it. By using non-fresh air, I presume it performs much better at lower temperatures, but again I can't find any data for its performance in more challenging climes. But presuming one doesn't need so much fresh air, it seems a lot more useful (and more expensive...)

              240GLT:
              I don't have an old Benz, but if you pay for the shipping I'll send you my cooking oil leftovers from the next time I cook tempura.

              I also recommend you google Barra-Constantini - they have some really great ideas.
              Let's make Edmonton better.

              Comment


              • #8
                I disagree with Titanium48 saying renters would choose the location that saves them utility costs - I'm not so sure many would. In my view they'd choose the lowest rent and pretty much overlook the utility costs. Moreover, the lowest rent is market driven with some possible adjustment from the building owner to cover taxes, insurance, financing costs, etc. without consideration for utilities. Also, the "location location location" adage applies to many rental choices too - depending upon the nature of the business.

                So the commercial building builder that builds the cheapest building (ie with least insulation, only double-pane glass possibly even walls of it, etc) sells it sooner and the rental property buyer looks for the cheapest building to buy for the location. With standard triple-net leases the utility costs won't be the landlord's concern anyway. I agree, smart renters will lock at utilities but as a secondary consideration - after much of the choice has already been made. Do house buyers/renters analyze expected utility costs before signing the bottom line?

                (It's like the first Mac computers were beat out by the IBM clones because of initial low ball clone price. Add in the required software, problem resolution, etc. and the costs rose over that of the Macs but that didn't help Mac sales.)

                We're stuck with a huge amount of inefficient warehouse stock and things like that "Barra-Constantini System" that and SolarWal might make a real difference. It's just that no one knows about these things and if they do - neither renters nor owners will pay even the low costs for them because they fall into that grey zone of "fixtures" between owner and renter.

                I did note that the solarwall already has numerous large Canadian applications so this type of low cost passvie technology appears to work well in Canada - it is/was a Canadian company. (They even have small household sized ones - but who wants to stick some black warming panel to the side of their house even if it does save 20, 30% or some percent on their heating bill.) I just spray painted my mostly stucco house a darker colour - hoping to get some small winter gain.

                In making smart choices - long-term utility costs never seem to get factored in - how many homes over the last two decaces have even been built with triple-pane windows!!! A relatively small added cost but what percentage of home buyers opted for them?

                Anyway, does everyone agree that the vast amount of commerical property is flying under the radar when if comes to the attention they getting from environmentalists, policy makers etc.?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KC View Post

                  So in terms of the environment (gloabal warming and all that), inefficient operating costs and the plain useless wasting of non-renewable energy, I've argued elsewhere that there is a huge disconnect between the builder, owner and renter when it comes to reducing building energy and operating costs.

                  Renters often rent quite large if not huge buildings and end up paying much higher operating costs as a result of not having had any say in the original construction of the buiding - so they are stuck with poor design, poor insulation, poor windows, poor furnaces, etc. This saves the builder money - it saves the owner money but raises costs for the renter who has to heat the place. So the renters pass on those extra costs to the consumers if they can. If Edmonton, or Canada for that matter wants to stay competitive, it needs to look at this type of cost reduction / energy saving mechanism.
                  A bit more on the principal-agent problem (aka the agency dilemma):


                  "One challenge is the up-front costs, he said. While government clients may be satisfied with payback periods of a decade or more, commercial customers want it paid off in less than three years or less. Then there's the general lack of experience that many building owners have in energy efficiency projects, he said.

                  Another barrier is what Schiller called the "principal agent" problem. In short, most commercial buildings are rented, and the tenant pays the utility bills. That means the landlord has no incentive to improve energy efficiency, and the tenant doesn't have an incentive to spend money on improving a building it may vacate in a few years."

                  http://www.diversifiedautomation.com...ficiency_1.pdf

                  Do Energy Efficient Technologies Still Save Energy after Rebound Effects? An Econometric Analysis of Electricity Demand in the Commercial Building Sector *
                  Lucy Yueming Qiu†
                  Stanford University
                  JOB MARKET PAPER
                  Jan. 9th, 2012

                  "The energy consumption in commercial buildings1 sector alone constitutes 18% of the total energy consumption in the United States. Based on the trajectory of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest annual energy outlook, between 2005 and 2035, emissions from the commercial sector have been and will be experiencing the largest growth rate. Thus, understanding the energy consumption behavior of the commercial building sector is crucial to address the energy challenges facing the United States."...
                  http://www.stanford.edu/~yuemingq/En...0Buildings.pdf
                  Last edited by KC; 10-01-2012, 09:02 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10


                    Solar Wall being used by the City of Edmonton Transportation Dept.
                    Big Blue wall used to heat office area Makeup air.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Any thoughts on this now that the province has set targets for eliminating coal plant produced power and increasing the carbon tax?

                      When I redo the fence next to my house, maybe it could be a solar wall fence. . ...not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some misc news on passive solar developments:



                        Calgary home certified as Alberta's 1st 'passive house' | CBC News

                        https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calga...ouse-1.4803890



                        Sustainable Warehouses: From LED to HVAC to Solar and More
                        “Although lighting and HVAC systems are the main sources of energy consumption in warehouses and, therefore the areas where companies will concentrate their efforts, the self-production of energy is a serious option for warehouse operators to consider when looking to offset their carbon usage.

                        For example, Amazon is planning to install solar panels on the rooftops of its fulfilment centers across the world. It will install large-scale solar systems on 15 of its U.S. facilities in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware by the end of 2017.”

                        https://www.sdcexec.com/warehousing/...solar-and-more





                        These stunning buildings are Norway’s next generation environmental architecture – net energy positive from construction to demolition - Business Insider Nordic

                        https://nordic.businessinsider.com/t...-demolition--/


                        Mississauga pilots solar panels to heat outdoor pool - Pool & Spa Marketing
                        June 27 2018
                        https://www.poolspamarketing.com/tra...-outdoor-pool/
                        Last edited by KC; 30-08-2018, 09:33 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The 1948 Dover Sun House used phase change materials to store heat

                          https://www.treehugger.com/green-arc...tore-heat.html




                          24-Hour Solar Energy: Molten Salt Makes It Possible, and Prices Are Falling Fast | InsideClimate News

                          “ "We're going to see many more CSP molten salt towers," said Mark Mehos, program manager for CSP research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. Mehos bases his belief on prices that SolarReserve and other project developers are quoting for electricity from new plants, and the knowledge that a CSP tower with eight or 10 hours of molten salt storage is currently much cheaper than a solar PV farm with an equivalent amount of lithium-ion batteries.”

                          https://insideclimatenews.org/news/1...t-dunes-nevada
                          Last edited by KC; 30-08-2018, 09:35 PM.

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