Architects * Free Power and Energy * Geothermal Heating and Cooling * Net Zero Energy Upgrades
Real Estate Master Planning * Solar Cogeneration * Solar Heating and Cooling * Solar Trigeneration
"Changing the Way the World Makes and Uses Energy" SM
Palm Springs, California
What are Evacuated Tube Collectors?
Evacuated Tube Collectors are very efficient "solar thermal collectors" that convert sunlight into solar thermal energy. Evacuated Tube Collectors are typically the main part of a solar water heating system, producing up to 100% of the domestic hot water for the home or building.
Evacuated Tube Collectors are sometimes referred to as "heat-pipes" and are far more efficient than flat plate collectors at generating heat energy. But also cost about twice as much as flat plate collectors.
Evacuated Tube Collectors acts as a thermos bottle as they are very efficient in retaining the solar heat energy they collect. Evacuated Tube Collectors are made up of individual sealed, glass tubes which are under a vacuum. A heat transfer fluid that circulates through them absorbing the sun's heat energy.
Evacuated Tube Collectors are typically mounted on a south-facing roof, with no obstructions (trees, hills, buildings) that would cause shading over the evacuated tube collectors, at any time of the day.
"Changing the Way the World Makes and Uses Energy" SM
Palm Springs, California
What is a Flat Plate Collector?
Flat plate collectors are one type of solar thermal collector that collects heat energy from sunlight converting sunlight into usable thermal energy. Flat plate collectors are typically mounted on a south-facing roof, with no obstructions (trees, hills, buildings) that would cause shading over the flat plate collectors, at any time of the day.
Flat plate collectors have glass covers that enclose a black absorber surface and insulation. In some flat plate collectors, a heat transfer fluid is pumped through the tubes inside the flat plate collector. The heat transfer fluid cools the collector and transfers the heat energy after discharge from the flat plate collector.
The efficiency of flat plate collectors varies throughout the day. Maximum solar thermal efficiency of flat plate collectors occurs between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The efficiency of flat plate collectors is maximized when the surface of the flat plate collector is normal to the incoming sunlight. Some flat plate collectors "track" the sun as the sun moves from east to west which maximizes the surface area and incoming solar energy.
What are Solar Thermal Collectors?
Solar thermal collectors collect heat energy from sunlight converting sunlight into usable thermal energy. Solar thermal collectors are typically mounted on a south-facing roof, with no obstructions (trees, hills, buildings) that would cause shading over solar thermal collectors, at any time of the day.
Solar thermal collectors are classified as low-, medium-, and high-temperature collectors:
collectors provide low-grade heat (less than 110 degrees Fahrenheit),
through either metallic or nonmetallic absorbers, and are used in such
applications as swimming pool heating and low-grade water and space heating.
collectors provide medium-grade heat (greater than 110 degrees Fahrenheit,
usually 140 degrees to 180 degrees Fahrenheit), either through glazed flat
plate collectors using air or liquid as the
heat transfer instrument, or concentrator collectors that concentrate the
heat of incident insolation to greater than "one sun" and are
mainly used for domestic hot water heating. Evacuated
tube collectors are also included in this category.
High-temperature collectors are parabolic dish or trough collectors designed to operate at a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and are primarily used by utilities and independent power producers to generate electricity for the grid.
The solar thermal collector performance rating is an analytically-derived set of numbers representing the characteristic all-day energy output of the solar thermal collector under standard rating conditions, measured in Btu per square foot per day (Btu/ft2/day).
In 2009, the average solar thermal collector performance rating for low-temperature solar thermal collectors (metallic and nonmetallic) was 1,239 Btu/ft2/day, medium-temperature (air) was 971 Btu/ft2/day, medium-temperature (integral collector storage/thermosiphon) was 913 Btu/ft2/day, medium-temperature (flat plate collectors) was 981 Btu/ft2/day, medium-temperature (evacuated tube collectors) was 973 Btu/ft2/day, medium-temperature (concentrator) was 2,196 Btu/ft2/day, and high-temperature (parabolic dish/trough) was 1,262 Btu/ft2/day.
The founder of the Renewable Energy Institute (REI) was first involved in Net Zero Energy buildings and Solar Trigeneration sm energy system in 2001 - 2002. This started with family-owned real estate developments in Northern and Southern California. This interest was accelerated when REI's founder was introduced to the President of a solar company in Los Angeles and their client, the Audubon Nature Center at Deb's Park (Los Angeles) that was planning to build a new 5,000 sf office and conference center. Except, the new building for the Audubon Nature Center was about 1/2 mile from the end of the power lines and a very costly extension of the power lines to their new facility forced them to consider a solar solution. When the Audubon Nature Center's new 5,000 sf office and conference center was completed in 2003, the facility not only featured the Solar Trigeneration sm energy system - they were awarded one of the first Platinum LEED Awards by the USGBC - and the powerlines were still 1/2 mile away! To this day, 100% of the power and energy for the Audubon Nature Center's building is supplied by the Solar Trigeneration sm energy system - whether at 12 noon, or 12 midnite. (The Audubon's facility also includes a battery energy storage system for back-up power generated by the Rooftop PV panels as well as a thermal energy storage system that stores the excess hot water generated by the evacuated tube collectors).
These early projects led to more client inquiries and engagements with real estate developers, architects and building owners in Southern California, Louisiana and Texas and the advent of a growing Net Zero Energy industry along with Solar Cogeneration sm & Solar Trigeneration sm energy systems. This culminated in a family-owned 200 (Net Zero Energy) home real estate development in Desert Hot Springs which has been approved but not yet constructed.
During this time, the REI's Founder became a volunteer and Advisor to the University of Texas' Solar Decathlon Competition. He coordinated the donation of the same solar thermal system used at the Audubon Nature Center's facility in Los Angeles, for UT's entry in the 2002 Solar Decathlon Competition in Washington, D.C. UT's entry in the Solar Decathlon Competition placed 1st in the domestic hot water competition that year (2002) and 4th overall, out of 20 universities that had entered.
In 2006, after Hurricane Kattrina devastated New Orleans, the REI was formed and several of the REI's board members and a Professor from the University of Texas School of Architecture formed a design team to enter the Brad Pitt/Global Green Rebuild New Orleans Competition. Our entry also focused on sustainable building solutions and materials as well as the Net Zero Energy concepts, incorporating once again, a Solar Trigeneration sm energy system.
Today, the REI "Flagship" has chartered the Renewable Energy Institute in Florida, with discussions to open REI state chapters in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Minnesota and Oregon.
The REI supports greater use of Net Zero Energy systems by architects, builders, homeowners and owners of commercial buildings. This includes "upgrading" homes and commercial buildings to Net Zero Energy. The REI provides Net Zero Energy; advertising, business development, conferences, e-commerce, education, marketing, online marketing, public relations, renewable energy, sales and strategic marketing solutions for architects, builders, cities, colleges, HVAC contractors, Net Zero Energy developers, real estate developers and universities.
Net Zero Energy Buildings Are Next Frontier
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hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars every year for oil,
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Price of Addiction|
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According to R. James Woolsey, for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, “The basic insight is to realize that global warming, the geopolitics of oil, and warfare in the Persian Gulf are not separate problems — they are aspects of a single problem, the West’s dependence on oil."
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