Sun Bandit® Blog

rss

Solar Hybrid Energy Systems


Sun Bandit Eclipses Old-School Solar Thermal in Delivering Hot Water in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Sun Bandit®

Sun BanditIn another world’s first, PV-powered Sun Bandit is demonstrating its superiority to old-school solar thermal by delivering consistently high-performance metrics in the lowest of temperatures. 

This solar milestone is a 26-foot solar hydroponic trailer, featuring the first off-grid photovoltaic (PV) solar water heating solution to heat water and channel stored energy into radiant heating that hydroponically grows fresh vegetables in sub-zero temperatures north of the Arctic Circle. 

The solution is the brainchild of Ingemar Mathiasson, the energy coordinator representing the Inupiat village of Kotzebue, Alaska and Passive House Institute (PHIUS)-certified contractor and energy rater Mark Houston of Anchorage-based The Comforts of Home

It’s a serious feat, as temperatures in Kotzebue can swing over 120 degrees during the course of a year, from a bone-chilling 40 degrees below zero in winter up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. With a mean daily temperature of 21.8 degrees, it’s simply not warm enough to sustain a large community garden there – even in the summer.

“For the first time, we can keep the trailer at 74-degrees in sub-zero temperatures, which allows growing to begin as early as March, extending the growing season to 9 months a year,” said Houston.  

The solar hydroponic trailer not only supports an extended growing season, it’s saving money, as produce can be two to five times more expensive in Alaska than in the lower 48. Further, Alaska might be an oil-rich state, but that oil needs to be shipped to refineries and then redelivered. It’s not unusual for folks to pay $6 to $11 a gallon for oil to heat their buildings – particularly those living as far north as Kotzebue. Burning oil (and the cash that goes with it) wasn’t working for them. 

“I’ve been advising clients on energy conservation and alternative energy concepts for 30 years,” Houston said. “Kotzebue’s dark, bitter-cold winters are too much for traditional solar water heating systems. PV-powered water heating is a much better product to use in colder regions.

"When village elders got wind of Sun Bandit, they knew they wanted it as their primary heat source for the trailer. Sun Bandit is four times more efficient than regular electric heat – and much lower-maintenance,” Houston said. 

 “At the end of the day, people don’t want to have to fix things in freezing temperatures.  They just want them to work,” Houston added. “That is where PV-powered Sun Bandit shines.” 

On days when the sun doesn’t shine, Sun Bandit optimizes energy production with an arsenal of built-in back-up and storage options. In on and off-grid situations, Sun Bandit can be configured with a small wind turbine or battery storage using grid-fed electricity, natural gas or propane as back-up

With Kotzebue’s solar hydroponic trailer, Sun Bandit is affirming the viability, versatility and value proposition of solar hybrid water heating solutions in America’s coldest regions – and beyond.  

View a slide presentation outlining Houston’s hybrid solution by clicking here.

View the news release on the solar hydroponic trailer by clicking here.

Sun Bandit® is a trademark-registered, patented product innovation of Colorado-based Next Generation Energy (NGE®), whose expertise in PV, solar thermal and off-grid system design have been delivering high-performing, money-saving renewable energy solutions to commercial, utility-scale, governmental, individual and multi-family housing interests for over 30 years.


Share this Post:


Comments are closed.

Authors

Tags

119 gallon 30 gallon anniversary co2 facts firewater solutions green homes hot water hot water heater hot water heaters hot water heating Hybrid Energy Hybrid Energy System IBS independence day installation International Builder's Show LEED natural gas water heater new products Next Generation Energy NGE off-grid installation OG 100 photovoltaic photovoltaic array power outage propane hot water heater resale value snow solar solar efficiency solar energy solar facts solar hot water solar hot water heater solar hot water heating solar hybrid energy systems solar jobs solar rating and certification corporation solar resale value solar tarriffs solar thermal srcc sun bandit sun bandit facts sunbandit water heater zilla 50 gallon 80 gallon accelerate solar anniversary arbor day California Solar Initiative CALSEIA Chinese solar CIA Survivalist cloudy cold cold climates Colorado Million Solar Roofs Consumer CSI customer review Deltec Homes did you know Energy energy efficiency standards energy independence free energy gas water heaters green energy green homebuilders Green Homes greenbuild Hawaii Energy Home Builder ICC-SRCC ICC-SRCC OG-100 Industry Professionals lease or own NAECA NAHB net metering net-zero homes Next Generation Energy NGE no grid tie off-grid OG-100 OG-300 PACE photovoltaic plant trees pre-heat PV PV Professional pv solar water heating SB SBES snow and solar solar solar duties solar efficiency solar energy solar hot water solar hot water heater solar hot water heating solar hot water tanks solar hybrid energy system solar myths solar power international Solar Power World solar system solar thermal spi Sun Bandit Sun Bandit Kit Taiwanese solar Technology trade show trees Utilities water heater