TUCSON, Ariz. — Phoenix-based Easy Energy has announced it has completed the installation of its largest customer site to date for solar water heating. The commercial solar company in Arizona installed 600 solar thermal collectors on carports throughout the community which will meet a significant portion of the hot water demand for the 615-unit facility, serving more than 650 residents.
The installation includes collectors for domestic water heating at each of the four resident buildings, as well as two of the five swimming pools which are heated year round for resident recreational use.
“The management of energy costs and the HVAC equipment required to create a comfortable living environment for our residents is a major focus of our operations team,” says George Ortega, executive director. He adds, “The addition of the solar water heating system eases the heating burden on our boiler equipment and reduces natural gas costs. This is a long-term solution that is more sustainable and more economical for our facility.”
As part of the system, the Easy Energy added 17,000 gallons of hot water storage via heat exchange tanks to maximize the daytime solar harvest and allow the heat to be used after the sun goes down. The existing boilers will supplement heating needs whenever the solar heat cannot meet the demand.
“Solar water heating is a solid and proven technology, not just in our sunny Arizona climate, but throughout the world,” says Brian Bartel, president of Easy Energy and lead project manager. “Our installation staff has enjoyed hearing the comments of the residents, many of whom shared their stories of using solar water heating in their own homes in years past.” Added Bartel, “Although some of the controller technology has improved in recent years, the basic premise of transferring solar sunlight to water has endured and will continue to serve as a renewable energy source for years to come.”