Vendor & Supplier News

PM Says 'Hello To Solar' With Viessmann

July 10, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Plumbing & Mechanical has long been a proponent of continuing education, especially when such courses explore new technology and improved methods of operation. The growing green market, specifically, offers a great opportunity to expand one’s knowledge of the plumbing and heating industry, including learning more about efficient and eco-friendly systems and alternative energy.

On June 6, PM attended Viessmann Mfg.’s “Say Hello To Solar” one-day seminar at the company’s Warwick, R.I., training offices, and learned that even though America’s solar market is a “slice-of-a-slice-of-the-pie” compared to the rest of the world, there is huge potential for growth.

“It’s an exciting time to be interested in solar,” Viessmann Academy instructor Jim McCarthy told the class of approximately 30 industry professionals, with titles ranging from service tech to business owner, and builder to wholesaler.

Viessmann, which has been in the solar market abroad nonstop since 1978, offers North American professionals two models of solar heat collectors. Attendees of this class were introduced to the Vitosol 100 flat-panel solar collector and the Vitosol 300 evacuated-tube solar collector. Each has its advantages for the application at hand, but primarily they are designed for offsetting the DHW demand for residences and commercial projects.

We were able to see the “guts” of both systems, and McCarthy familiarized the class with the requirements of installing a solar water heating system - such as finding a home’s “solar window” with respect to True South, and determining the collector’s angle of inclination for optimum sunlight exposure. But overall he emphasized “common-sense design.”

DHW is a constant load in a home, McCarthy said. Learning how to offset the cost of heating water through solar is a good step toward reducing our eco-footprint, carbon emissions and environmental demand.

“Solar DHW can be used with any existing system. You can retrofit a system with a preheat tank with relative ease,” McCarthy told us. This presents the real opportunity for a contractor. He urged attendees to get comfortable designing and installing the less complex preheat systems, since once the process is no longer a challenge, system design gets easier, and prices can come down.

PM will further explore solar heating in the next few months, but in the meantime, here are a few new things we learned:

  • The tiny copper pipe inside the Vitosol 300 vacuum tubes work as individual one-pipe steam systems. The energy produced is what heats the solar fluid and thus fuels the DHW.
  • Expect a return on investment anywhere from six to 16 years, depending on your geographic location and sun exposure: Southwest customers will see sooner ROI, Northeast a bit later.
  • Conceptually, solar is going to give you the most heat when you don’t need it (in the summer months), so be sure to size your system correctly, or work in a dump zone through controls, such as diverting hot water for pool heating.
  • Because flow rates required for a solar system are so low, it is relatively easy to make new-construction homes “solar ready.”
  • Web sites are available to help determine if your area is ripe for solar: www.RETScreen.net aids in system sizing; www.solarpathfinder.com offers solar site analysis; and www.DSIREusa.org helps uncover rebate and tax incentive information in your state.
For more information on Viessmann solar classes, visit www.viessmann-us.com.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Plumbing & Mechanical. 

Recent Articles by Katie Rotella

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 Truck of the Month

PM has featured so many great plumbing service trucks! See plenty of them here in our Truck Of The Month Archives page. Are you proud of your truck? Go to our Truck of the Month page to find out how your service truck could be chosen!

9/16/14 9:00 am PDT

Free Webinar: Acoustical Isolation

HOLDRITE will be hosting a free webinar for Acoustical Isolation on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.

Plumbing and Mechanical

2014 August

2014 August

In the August issue of PM, read about the continued construction and renovations being made to hotels and restaurants. Find out the focus of this year's ISH China show will be, who made this month's Truck of the Month and read what Elkay has to say about their commercial construction expansion. Also, read the latest news and discover the newest products being used by professionals in the plumbing and mechanical industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Back to School

It’s back-to-school time, how do you stay knowledgeable on the industry:
View Results Poll Archive

The Plumbing and Mechanical Store

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Truck of the Month

Truck of the month

Are you proud of how your service truck looks? Do the graphics give people whiplash as they drive by? Have your calls increased because people remember your truck — and your company name? If so, we’d like to see it, too! Click here to find out how your service truck could be chosen as PM's Truck of the Month.

 

STAY CONNECTED

Connect to PM on Facebook Connect to PM on Twitter  Watch PM on YouTube    Connect to PM on Linked InGoogle+