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A Technical and Economic Analysis of Solar Energy Projects at Fort Huachuca, AZ

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Sandias Solar Thermal Design Assistance Center was asked to evaluate the advantages of relocating an existing solar system to another location. The existing system consists of two flat plate collectors, a 60-gallon storage tank, a Grumman heat exchanger and differential temperature controller, and circulation pumps. Reports indicated that the controller was no longer functioning. The system is installed on an old fire house however, occupancy of the firehouse is changing, and there is no longer a load for the solar system. We looked at several sites and decided to study relocation of the system to the JITC building. The JITC building has 24-hour occupancy and a high hot water load due to its having both showers and a kitchen. The equipment room is located on the second floor and has easy access to the flat part of the roof. In addition, there is ample space in the equipment room for the storage tank, heat exchanger and controller. We estimate it to cost 800 dollars to move the system, plus 100 to buy a new differential temperature controller. We used an INSOL computer program and a spreadsheet to compute an displaced natural gas savings of 32 MMBTU each year, for a yearly cost savings of 195. This project has a savings to investment ratio SIR of 3.1 and a simple payback of less than 5 years. In addition, pollution reduction of CO2 would be 12,189 pounds per year and 43 pounds of NOx each year. John Henrie of the JITC building suggested that he may have base personnel who can move and install the system. If base personnel do install the solar system, I suggest that a solar system supplierinstaller be hired to fill, check out and start up the system.

Subject Categories:

  • Non-electrical Energy Conversion
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Air Conditioning, Heating, Lighting and Ventilating

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