Materials & Technology

Canadian community maximizes efficiency with radiant heating from solar panels

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 10:43

A new development known as the Drake Landing Solar Community in Alberta, Canada, has figured out how to store energy from the summer months to be used as power for heating systems during the winter, according to Earth Techling.

The 52 homes in the development will use garage-mounted solar thermal arrays, which will provide heat for water that is then used to warm up the radiant heating systems that exist in each residence, the news source reported.

A radiant heating system works well with solar panels, as the technology is able to warm the water in the subfloor heater with energy that is taken from the sun. This can help to limit energy usage and conserve valuable resources.

The thick aluminum that is used in a subfloor radiant heater helps to conduct the heat in a more efficient way that other radiant systems, partly due to the efficient integration of the tubes into the boards.

While some other products may require a secondary source to heat the water, the subfloor system is efficient enough to maximize the use of energy taken from the solar panels. More heat is generated from lower water temperatures, again helping to limit the amount of power that is necessary.

According to Earth Techling, the radiant heating system is installed throughout the development, as each of the homes has a direct link to the power that is generate by the large solar panels.

Energy savings have already been reported by the owners of the project, as the technology that they installed meets 90 percent of their heating needs, an accomplishment due to the cold winters that exist in Alberta, the news source reported.