Solar thermal systems have long been popular in the residential sector, but now others such as medical institutions – with the help of state incentive programs – are also increasingly installing these systems for their energy efficiencies and cost effectiveness.
In New York, the first medical center to now take advantage such state incentives is the renal dialysis center of Glen Falls Hospital, which received $25,000 in funding from the NYSERDA’s Solar Thermal Incentive Program for the installation of its new $32,500 solar thermal system.
The solar thermal system – whose installation was completed a few weeks ago – is being used primarily to heat the water required in operating the dialysis machines.
“The solar thermal system, which preheats incoming cold water through 15 rooftop solar panels and a 375-gallon solar water tank before it goes to the boiler, is expected to reduce the center’s water heating fossil fuel consumption by 45 percent,” said Dayle Zatlin, assistant director of communications at the NYSERDA.
On many days, especially in the summer, the fossil boilers at the center will not be needed because the solar thermal system will handle all of the center’s hot water needs,” added Zatlin.
The system heats the water to anywhere between 120°F to 190°F. Then, mixing values temper it to 77°F for dialysis, and 140°F for hot water for sinks and the bathrooms.