Missouri Department of Transportation St. Clair Maintenance Facility installation of 48 SolarSheats Solar air panels deployed on two structures (one with eight and one with 40) and two solar hot water systems each using four 4' x 8' flat plate collectors both on the same structure (one for a car wash and the other for domestic hot water).
Case Study - Missouri Department of Transportation St. Clair Maintenance Facility
Daniel Poett | G2Power Technologies, LLC
Company Name: G2Power Technologies, LLC & YourSolarHome.com(Our name is derived from the Sun being a G2 classification star and since it's the only one near us that we get power from.... hence the name G2Power)
Project: Missouri Department of Transportation St. Clair Maintenance Facility - installation of 48 SolarSheats Solar air panels deployed on two structures (one with eight and one with 40) and two solar hot water systems each using four 4' x 8' flat plate collectors both on the same structure (one for a car wash and the other for domestic hot water).
Project budget: $154,000
The winter was unusually cold and had several snow and ice events that delayed all the contractors but made our assembly and rooftop work more difficult. The main challenge was mounting the equipment so that it was structurally sound and firmly attached without making multiple penetrations of the standing seam roof. This was achieved on the main structure with the 40 SWA collectors and 8 SHW collectors by creating a racking system using Uni-Strut rail and S-5 clips to mount the racking to the standing seam roof. The other structure since it was not standing seam required us to mount the brackets through the roofing and attached to the perlins. The other challenge was the volume of ducting above the roofline that the SWA collectors required.
These structures were new but based on similar types of buildings in MODOT's system. Since their characteristics were known they were projected to use quite a bit of natural gas and electric, MODOT was seeking a way to offset the costs using renewable energy sources. The project's original scope involved the use of a wind turbine but with the wind maps and cost of a turbine making it cost prohibitive for this particular project/structures MODOT decided to take a look at other renewable energy products. The project's scope then became to derive as much heat and hot water as possible from renewable energy to offset some of the structure's long term costs for heating and hot water. Solar Warm Air Collectors and Solar Hot Water Systems were decided upon as the choices for this project since the structures had large bays for servicing road equipment that were heated in the winter time to allow road crews to service their vehicles safely and rapidly in order to put them back in to service. The structure is also equipped with a car wash system for washing the road equipment. It was felt that these technologies had the best short and long term paybacks for these particular types of structures within their inventory of building types. The SWA collectors are designed to be an exact BTU match to the forced air systems and are supplemental due to the nature of what they do. The SHW systems are 365 and are the main systems but do have internal backup electric elements to produce hot water if the Solar Collectors are unable to produce energy on any given day.
This was a challenging project and was on a tight timeline. There was a lot of pre-assembly labor involved in this project and some tricky characteristics to getting the equipment mounted to the rooftops of these structures. None of us were quite sure as to how it would look once completed. However, after the project was completed we believe that visually it is a very attractive feature of the structures. The lines in the collectors matched up to the lines on the building and it draws the eye up to the roofline and flows with the symmetry of structure. The building is visible from Northbound I-44. As such we do occasionally get telephone calls asking about what the collectors are and what they do from people that have either heard about the project or inquired about it. Although, it was a very challenging project we were glad to have been a part of it. We were very pleased at MODOTs acceptance of the products and their professionalism to which we were treated as both a small business and as a renewable energy contractor.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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