The Most Cost Effective Commercial Solar Collector in the Universe

How's that for a title :)

There is now a commercially offered version of the our thermosyphon shop heating collector.

Paul House is offering to build thermosyphon shop heating collector on your building for about $2000 for a 16 ft wide by 8 ft high collector.  Paul runs Choice Energy here in Bozeman, MT -- he has already built three of these collectors in the Bozeman area.

solar space heating collector 

As a DIY project this collector can payback the material costs in one heating season, which is pretty amazing.  But, even with Paul doing all the work and supplying all the materials, this collector has an about 5 year payback period -- and this not counting any rebates you might qualify for.  I don't know of any commercially available collector that can top this -- or even come close. 

So, the title of the page may seem a bit over the top, but I'm sticking with it until someone shows me a collector that has a lower $'s per BTU than this one.   If you know of other highly cost effective commercial solutions, I'd like to hear about them.

If you don't happen to live within Paul's range, you might be able to find a local contractor who can do the job for you. 

Just to give an idea how this compares to other commercially available solar air heating collectors, lets compare it to the SolarSheat 1500, which is a popular commercial solar air heating collector. 

  Solar Sheat 1500 Paul's Thermosyphon
Collector Area (sf) 26 sf 128 sf
Heat Out per hour -- BTU/hr 4,900 BTI/hr 23,000 BTU/hr
Installed Cost $2100 $2000
BTU per dollar 2.33 11.5

The installed cost of the SoarSheat is estimated as $1800 for the collector + $82 shipping + $200 installation. 

So, Paul's collector offers about 5 times the heat output per dollar!

You might argue that the SolarSheat is more efficient, but I doubt it...

I think you could argue that these collectors are intended for different roles, and this is probably true, but the comparison does bring home the huge range in cost effectiveness of these two approaches. 

Just to be clear, I have no financial or business connection of any kind to Paul -- I would just like to see these kinds of ventures that make solar ever so much more cost effective succeed.

Back to the shop heating collector main page...

January 5, 2012