Solar Thermal coming of age

Imagine a two part solar flat plate collector,the glazed front part being the window as part of the roof line, with the second part locked into place from the inside of the roof with the end result that nobody from the outside knows you are now heating up your tank of water off grid.

The typical USA made flat plate solar water heating collector has been around as long as we can remember.

Over the last 3 years I have traveled across many parts of the states to gather research on the USA solar energy and solar power industry, its always been solar power as in PV panels which has grabbed the majority of home owners attention as the latest thing to have at almost any cost as long as there is a big enough tax break.
Poor solar thermal which is 5 times less expensive and does not need tax breaks to sell it (certainly not in the UK, where I am based).
As the co designer and introducer of the Apricus solar thermal collector into the USA, from the east coast to the west, I felt it was time to put a bomb under the pants of the USA home building industry, by introducing at the next PowerGen event in Vegas the first new solar thermal collector for tax free hot water heating which in essence from the outside looked like a dormer window in the roof design.

The big difference in this two piece collector design, besides being more sexy than a ton of expensive PV panels on the roof is that in the 2nd part of this soft wood box insulated liner is a revolution in hot water heating which allows temperatures of over 250 F to be created in a few seconds from the suns direct sunlight.

Besides the sexy look to your new roof and the tax free hot water that bypasses the gas/electricity meter, this advanced innovation and simplicity in the conversion of the suns energy into steaming hot water, is that only 1/90th of the 6sqft area inside the box is water.

For those reading this who are supporters of the flat plate USA made hot water heating box on a roof that nobody wants, imagine a box hidden behind a sheet of glass as a window in the roof that does not need any freeze protection down to temperatures of -20 F or -32 C.
What this means is, a revolution in solar water heating is about to land on the USA roof top as from March next year in Vegas, which can be plumbed direct into any existing hot water tank as developed in the UK. Thus reducing overall cost, by not requiring a new twin coil tank and all that goes with it to protect the water currently in all copper tube flat plate collectors across the world.

I always tell people having returned from the energy waste of Vegas produced every minute of the day, about how the state of Vegas builds into every new home a gas fired water tank as standard because solar energy does not work in sunny Vegas or everybody is so rich or gas is so dirt cheap or the public utilities have a monopoly and do not allow any form of tax free direct energy because its not grid connected?

Next time you fly across the roof tops of Vegas, try to spot that single solar collector which could cut 95% of all gas burnt in every home which could be supplied free for 20-25 years. The constant blue skies across Vegas all year round, a blue sun which for the British is a dream, yet in England today, we have more sales of solar hot water heating systems installed than the whole of the USA.
Most people who have visited our small Island of 60 million people and 32 million cars, knows it always rains, yet we have a drought and hose pipe ban, WHY? it always rains.?

I will leave you with this message Mr and Mrs America.
My home gas bill for this last 4 months of what we call summer was $7.90 and that's with a 100 gall tank of water heated by our solar thermal collectors across our mixed weather days. That cost was also for cooking.
My whole year cost for mains gas which covers 8 months of space heating as well as hot water was $285.00. Two people, two story well insulated home and two dogs.

With the cost of the solar collector that heated this 100 gall of water at under $2,000, how many solar PV panels would you need and the cost to do the same?
Wouldn't you roof look ugly?

Beware however as I found out last week, we are seen as a risk to banks and a threat to the gas and oil industry as well the utilities because we educate you on how to bypass your gas, electricity and water meter.
All around you is tax free sun, wind, air rain and sex, its free all you need is the knowledge and the equipment as well as Viagra if you are my age!

My name is Eric Hawkins, the founder and technical director and designer of Powertech Solar Ltd.
Watch this space, or make a date to see the real thing being installed in 74 new eco homes in Vegas after the PowerGen renewable energy event held at Mandalay Bay Hotel as this year gone.

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