"The most reliable, best performing, and lowest cost solar heating system for commercial and industrial buildings available on the market today"
-The United States Department of Energy
SolarWall® Solar Air Heating Systems for the Military
The United States Corp of Military Engineers identified the SolarWall® collector as one of two cost-effective solar technologies (the other being day-lighting) that is ideally suited for military applications. Typical military buildings, such as warehouses, vehicle maintenance shops, hangars, and motor pools have high ventilation requirements. Heating such large volumes of air over the entire heating system using the conventional heaters represents a tremendous cost. For this reason, the SolarWall transpired collector is routinely specified on new military vehicle maintenance garages and hangars.
The addition of a SolarWall fan and ducting system in hangar buildings also produces significant destratification savings. It is common in large facilities to have a ceiling temperature that is up to 30F (15C) degrees warmer than the floor. The incoming air from the SolarWall system mixes with the hot stratified air and disperses this heat throughout the building.
The United States Military base at Ft. Drum in upstate New York is home to the largest collection of solar air heated buildings in the world, with 50 SolarWall systems installed on 27 buildings. Collectively, the systems are projected to generate 4MW of peak thermal energy. The base is projected to realize fuel savings of 44 billion BTU/h (46,000 GJ) per year and displace approximately 2,000 tons of CO2. For more information on this project download the SolarWall Fort Drum case study (PDF).
SolarWall systems are also used on other U.S. bases across the country, including Fort Knox, Fort Carson, Norfolk Naval Base, Edwards Air Force Base, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca, Fort Lewis, Peterson Air Force Base and Buckley Air Force Base, as well as the Canadian bases CFB Cold Lake, CFB Suffield and CFB Wainwright.
Examples of U.S. Military SolarWall Installations
United States Army
Fort Drum, NY
The SolarWall® systems at Fort Drum represent the largest collection of solar air heated buildings in the world. The total collector area is around 110,000 ft2 (10,200m2), spread over 27 buildings with 99 fans being used to deliver 300,000 cfm of air. New air makeup fans and distribution ducting were also installed to improve the ventilation air in some of the older facilities, which also allows for additional destratification savings to be realized. Projected fuels savings are 44,000 million BTU/h (46,000 GJ) per year, with annual CO2 reductions of 2,000 tons. This highlights the significance of the project, and potential of the technology when it is used on a large scale.
Fort Huachuca, AZ
Black SolarWall systems were installed on two hangars at this Arizona base. The solar air heating system was part of an overall mandate by the U.S. Army to reduce fuel costs on the base by using renewable energy. The system also provides the required ventilation air for the buildings.
Fort Carson, CO
Officials at Fort Carson had a mandate to conserve energy and save money. This lead to the specification of a SolarWall heating and ventilation systems on the base’s main helicopter hangar. At the time of the installation, it was projected to save the U.S. Army $14,000 each year (using 1997 gas prices) in reduced heating costs. In the summer of 2006, three more SolarWall systems were installed on vehicle maintenance buildings at the base, bringing the total collector area to around 17,400 ft2 (1,620 m2).
Fort Lewis, WA
This SolarWall installation was completed in the summer of 2006 at Fort Lewis in Washington state. The solar system was integrated into the south wall of a maintenance building and assists the base in lowering fuel costs.
United States Air Force
Elmendorf Air Force Base, AK
Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska is home to 2 SolarWall systems installed on the west and east sides of the 3rd Logistics Readiness Squadron. The east SolarWall system pre-heats fresh air intake for the boiler room, and the west system heats incoming make-up air which is distributed via a fan and flexible ducting system. The combined SolarWall systems measure over 4,100ft2 in size, and were installed in the fall of 2008.
Edwards Air Force Base, CA
This California base was outfitted with a SolarWall system as part of an energy efficiency upgrade program. The thermal system heats the incoming ventilation air, and has also helped overcome the problem of negative pressure in the hangar. As a result of all the energy upgrades, the base was named the recipient of the Presidential Award for Federal Energy Management and was designated as a Federal Energy Saver Showcase Facility by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Buckley Air Force Base, CO
SolarWall systems were installed on multiple walls on a large hangar building at this Colorado base to reduce heating costs by providing free solar heat and ventilation air.
United States Navy
Norfolk Naval Base, VA
Norfolk was one of the first bases to participate in a federal program aimed at reducing energy consumption at federal facilities using solar energy. In 1997, two maintenance building at the base were outfitted with SolarWall heating systems.
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