We purchased a solar hot air system (Solarsheat) from Maine Green Building Supply back in August and got a 25% rebate from the state. I had been doing research on solar since May 2008 and had learned that solar hot air was the best option for my home (location, slope of roof, position of gable end, etc.). I blogged about this back in June.
We bought a Solarsheat 1500GS/G dual panel system back in August. We completed the installation shortly after January 1. We delayed the installation to change windows and siding at the same time.
We've been AMAZED at how well this system works.
It was sunny and cold yesterday, so I decided to document how well it works. Check out the attached photos. I can only post a few, but I can share a bunch more showing details of the expert installation (thank you to Vanier Construction!) and detailed performance.
You can see that yesterday (cold, but bright and sunny) the Solarsheat blew 150° F air into our home and heated the area to 75° F.
Maine is continuing to offer a 25% rebate on the solar hot air panels. I think every home in Maine should get one. When the sun is out, my boiler does not need to heat my house. I am saving oil every sunny day!
I would encourage everyone in Maine to investigate this.
Here are some links:
Performance Building Supply:
Maine Solar Rebates from Efficiency Maine:
Expert installation by Vanier Construction: 885-9389
Originally published on January 25, 2009
For the past several weeks we have been investigating solar options for our home.
We are primarily concerned about the dramatic rise in the cost of heating oil. Heating oil is approximately $2 more per gallon than it was last year at this time. That's nearly double!
We have reviewed and considered solar hot water for water, solar hot water for heating and solar hot air systems. While photovoltaic is interesting, the efficiency of these systems and cost (combined with lack of State rebate money) makes them less relevant to us.
After many hours of research and talking with suppliers and installers, I finally had someone out to evaluate my house. He said that my house is not well sited for solar hot water (roof faces E-W rather than N-S), but well sited for solar hot air. Lots of wall space on gable end that faces south. (Interestingly, I had received a quote for solar hot water from another installer based on some photos of my home and a Mapquest flyover. I wonder what would have happened when the installer came out to do the installation...)
Early on, we decided to get our contractor friend (Randy Vanier from Vanier Construction, Inc.) involved. He gave me a lift home a few weeks ago (flat tire on my bike!) when we were in the discussion phase. I mentioned our latest project, and he expressed interest in solar technology and asked me to share information with him. (I don't think he expected my enthusiasm for research!). He knows far more than I ever will about anything related to construction, renovation, etc. After the success with our porch addition, Bert trusts him implicitly. Not surprisingly, he posed some good questions at the site visit yesterday and discussed other options for future consideration as well (such as ways to move air in the home, ground mounted hot water).
Anyway, we are full steam ahead on the solar hot air project (I think). We are touring a home tomorrow with a solar hot air system (does it really work? what does it sound like? how does it look? etc.). I'm still waiting for another quote. Then we wait for our State rebate reservation number and I need to follow up on a few remaining questions from Randy. The kind people at Main Green Building Supply have been very patient with my many questions.
I will blog more as the project develops.
Originally published June 11, 2008
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