One of the most common reasons why people want to give up solar energy investment are: high price, complicated subsidy process and uncertain profits from obtaining this kind of energy. Are those arguments right – check it by yourself, following collectors installation process „step by step”.
Principal of one of primary schools in Bialystok has decided to install collectors in his house located near Bialystok. By a courtesy of him, we could accompany him during all formal and mounting process. Completion of the project was undertaken by SunProgres company which specializes in installation of collectors. Its representative – Mr. Rafał Opryszczko agreed to help us on writing this article series and explain nuances connected with installation process and getting subsidy.
House features: residential house, a year-round, without registration of residence. Usually 4-6 tenants reside in the house..
The client set SunProgres an ambitious task – his requirements regarding installation consisted of:
- a certainty that he would obtain subsidy of about 45% for the project implementation
- using the installation for heating water in indoor swimming pool, which is placed 5 meters from the house to minimum temperature of 20 C degrees, or preferably – to 30 degrees (until now, the existing water heater had to spend 12 hours in order to heat water in the pool to maximum level); capacity of the pool is 12 m³ water
- possibility of heating water in 3 radiators by collectors up to 10-12 C degrees (in order to prevent freezing)
- heating running water
- optional use in heating greenhouse placed 10 meters from the pool
Using collectors for so many different purposes was possible by proposal for assembling pipes into one integrated system.
To meet all the demands about functionality Mr. Rafał proposed a set which is made of 5-6 vacuum „heat pipe” collectors and 4 panels which have 10 years warranty and consider glycol as a heating medium. Investment cost was predicted to about 22 000 zloty (about 5 000 euro); with subsidy – 11 900 zloty (about 2250 euro).
During the meeting client drew attention to a really important detail, concerning roof of the house, the top of which is north – south oriented, which is unfavorable for installation of collectors. This problem was resolved after consulting Mr. Rafał who suggested installing collectors on both sides of the roof, on special designed racks. This way provides assurance of maximum, continuous energy collection. It has been decided that pipes will be routed from the rooftop to boiler by placing them in the outer side of the chimney top.
One of important issues mentioned by the client was the excess sun in the summer: what will happen with the system if for example, we take two-week holiday, while collectors are left with no supervision and they achieve a surplus of energy?
Mr. Rafał explained to us that pump maintaining glycol circulation works continually. System has also a suitable pressure relief valve and in case it is overload – first it drains water and ultimately – glycol to prevent damage of all installation. He also suggested that it was possible to connect it with special application for Android phones, which would inform owner about current installation condition so that he would be able to take proper steps in the right time. It is also possible to install special voice signal function that will alert people present at house or neighbors who are informed about possible system threat in the first place.
Predicted return of the investment costs is about 7-8 years, which did not actually discourage the client, who happens to be mathematician and is passionate about innovations and technical solutions and the predicted time of return did not surprise him at all. He is sure that collectors installation will be a profitable investment, when taking subsidies into account.
In next article we will describe an audit executed by Mr. Rafał and we will place photos if it, showing the estate of the client. We encourage you to read further and to make your own opinion about whether or not a process of gaining your own collectors installation is really such hard and unprofitable as many opponents of the „green technology” say.