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Technology Spotlight - Solar Air Heating

By: Victoria Hollick Source: Metal Architecture Magazine (Aug 2014)

Mention solar energy, and the first thought that comes to mind are box-like electricity generating panels attached to the roof of a building, that proclaim their existence with their modular nature and distinctive appearance.

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2014 Award-Winning Project: CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (SolarWall Project)
Source: SABMag (Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine Summer 2014)
"The building is charged with 100% fresh ventilation air, which is decoupled from the heating and cooling system to harness further efficiencies. Utilizing a displacement ventilation strategy, air is delivered through access floors or low-level diffusers. Ventilation pre-heat is provided by a SolarWall which is able to increase incoming air by 16°C on a typical day in January. Set at an angle of 52°C to optimize collector efficiency, the solar wall doubles as a roof for the penthouse space. Tracking of actual performance ensures the building continues to act as a “Living Lab” for the entire design and construction industry."
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Building-Integrated Solar Air Heating Systems Proving Popular

Source: Author: Rhone Resch

For some parts of the United States, such as Upper Michigan, the winter of 2013-14 was the coldest in recorded history. In Marquette, for example, the average temperature was a tundra-like 7.5 degrees. Well, what if I told you that it’s possible to cut your building’s energy use (in some cases by up to half), while protecting the environment, too? Sign me up, right? Simply put, innovative solar heating and cooling systems (SHC), which are growing in popularity nationwide, could be the winning ticket for you.

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SABMag: New building lowers operating costs, promotes environmental stewardship

Source: SABMag (Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine Dec 24 2013)
By: Mackenzie Howson, Anna Wex And Randy Wilson, Principal , Randy Wilson Architect Inc.

Nestled within an 1,100 hectare regional conservation area, this 3,800m2 administrative building responds to the existing environment and respects regulated requirements of flood plains, heritage zones and environmentally-sensitive areas. Located in this idyllic setting, the building is within the north-eastern boundary of the City of London. Strong first principles-based design provided the foundation for all decision making regarding the new building...

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Huge SolarWall For Mega-Building

Source: ASHRAE Journal June 2013

Text from Article:

NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa.- One of the largest buildings in the U.S. is now heated by the largest induction solar wall in the country. The 1.7 million ft2 (158 000 m2) warehouse is owned by the U.S. Department of Defense and provides supplies for troops stationed overseas. The project, which started in summer 2011, involved installing 55,263 ft2 (5134 USACE fle photom2) of solar thermal collectors on the east and south walls of the building that covers 39 acres (16 ha). 

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Inside Marks and Spencer's mega e-commerce HQ

Source:  Published: May 2013  By: Steve Nolan

Text from the article:
"The building features Europe’s largest solar wall - a sun-facing wall that absorbs solar energy and releases it to help heat the building. It is carbon neutral and has been part built using concrete from a former power station."

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Going Green: U.S. Army Corps builds largest induction SolarWall in the country

By Ms. Andrea Takash (USACE) Source: 

Article text:

HARRISBURG, PA - As the sun beats down on one of the biggest buildings in the country, solar thermal collectors go to work providing enough heat for a 1.7 million square foot warehouse. Spread across more than 40 acres, the Defense Logistics Agency's (DLA) Eastern Distribution Center in New Cumberland, Pa., provides critical supplies for the military stationed overseas. DLA needed an alternative, cost-saving way to provide heat for this massive warehouse. 

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Another way of using solar energy to reduce energy costs in public buildings

Source: Europe Parlementaire  Published: October 2012  By: Philipe Pelaprat

Originally created in Canada, the solar air heating technology contributes in reducing energy consumption by offsetting the heating load used in buildings by using the sun. The SolarWall’s efficiency has been shown through several projects in France. 

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To Heat or Not to Heat: SolarWall Taps Sun from Stratford to Spain

Source: Green Building & Sustainable Strategies Published: January 2012 By: Saul Chernos

Next time you travel to Stratford in southwestern Ontario to get your fix of Shakespeare, look carefully at the walls of the Avon Theatre. Not only does the black cladding stand out visually, but it's tapping the sun to heat the building. Conventional fuel-based heating systems pipe in cold outside air and then warm it up. On the other hand, solar air heating systems like the one lining the Avon Theatre convert solar radiation into hot air before it enters the building and reaches indoor heating and ventilation equipment.

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HETC is One of Manitoba’s First LEED® Education Facilities [a SolarWall featured building]

Source: Red River College Blog Published: 01/18/2012

It’s one of the largest industrial training facilities in Manitoba, and it’s also now officially one of the province’s most environmentally-friendly buildings.
Red River College is happy to announce its Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre (HETC) has become one of the first education centres in Manitoba to receive LEED® certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

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