What OSO RENEWABLE ENERGY can do for you…


Solar Domestic Hot Water

Solar Heated Water, or solar thermal, collects the suns radiated warmth and stores it for our human uses.   These systems work at raising water temperatures even on cloudy days.  You will still need back-up hot water heating if you desire hot water 365 days a year.  As an option you could also preheat water with your woodstove. 

Solar domestic hot water systems consist of good sun exposure, water, collectors, storage tanks, copper pipe, and insulation at a minimum.  Most systems for year round homes in freezing climates also include small electric pumps, heat exchangers, system controllers, and glycol anti-freeze.

For summer season use use the system can be as simple as a metal tank or a black pipe on a hot roof, known as a Batch System.  A step-up in performance and complexity is to marry the batch tank to a collector just below the tank and allow the water to thermo siphon into the top to the storage tank while the cold water, being more dense and heavier flows down to the lower end connection of the sloping collector.  Most of these systems need to be drained any time you are worried about your tomatoes freezing.

For year round use and you want to avoid the stress of worrying about bursting frozen pipes then there are many, very nice options.  These systems have evolved a lot since the 1970’s when there was first a peaked interest in renewable energy in the US.  They are still evolving and are your best investment in solar energy, generally with a cash $ return on investment (ROI) in 10-20 years at today’s prices for energy in NW Montana or SE British Columbia.  Other areas with higher energy costs or fewer cloudy days, the ROI is much quicker.

Contact us for a site evaluation and system quote.  Cost is only $75 and refundable if you purchase an installed system from Oso Renewable Energy.

Oso’s recommended options:

EnerWorks system, designed and manufactured in Ontario, Canada and CSA approved. www.enerworks.com.  Uses glycol in a closed loop pumped through a heat exchanger.  10 year limited warranty.  Price ranges from $4000-$8000 for a standard home.  Canadian manufacturing.

avoid freezing when there isn’t heat gain occurring.  No Glycol antifreeze. 12 year warranty.   European and US manufacture.

G2 Solar hot water system, using evacuated tubes and a glycol circulation through a special heat exchange storage tank. European and Chinese manufacture.

Globe Solar is a non glycol system that uses evacuated tube technology and is rated to function to -20 for 7 cloudy days in a row without freezing.  The storage tank is co-located with the collector on the roof in a super insulated tank.  No motors. This should be safe from freezing in most mild winters near the lakes of south east BC and with additions of heat tape. This system would need some oversight and simple draining if leaving for extended periods during the winter months.  These have a lower cost. Chinese Manufacture

Price ranges from $3500-$8000 for a standard home depending on the product you choose, and your hot water requirements.  We will help you in determining what fits your needs, esthetics and budget.

Other systems we can install for you are:

Viessmann – German design and manufacture

Apricus – Australian design and Chinese manufacture

All recommended systems are SRCC tested and UL/CSA approved systems that use flat panel or evacuated tube collectors usually mounted on the roof  (Remember! snow removal may be necessary).  These systems come with all the controls, heat exchanger and pump.  With the Enerworks system, you will need a second  insulated standard electric hot water tank to accompany your existing wood, electric, gas, or oil hot water heater.  The G2 and Viessmann both require a shipped solar storage tank with the heat exchange in the walls of the tank.  Your average daily demand for hot water is what determines the size of both the number of collectors and the size of your water storage tank.  This also relates to the cost. 

US – A 30% US federal tax credit was extended for another 8 years beginning on Jan. 1, 2009.  The maximum allowed for a domestic solar hot water system is $2500.

Montana – There is a $500 tax credit per person for solar energy systems. That is $1000 if there are two of you that own the house. 

BC– Complete Renewable Energy systems including parts and installation are PST exempted until July 2010. Things have recently gotten better, much better for you the home owner.  Now there is a total of grants you are eligible for in the amount of $2250.  For a single collector system that is over 50% off when you consider the PST exemption.  Until the end of March 2010, SolarBC is doubling its $1000 grant to $2000, so you will get 50% off on a family sized system also.  These grants are continually changing which makes it hard for all of us to understand and communicate.  Please contact us for the latest incentive program details. 

Alberta has no incentives at this time except higher electricity rates, and carbon based electricity generation.

You still don’t need to file for a right to collect the sunshine that falls upon you and your home.  Don’t wait to long for your nation’s leadership to remind you of that.  They often have too many friends and lobbyists that want you to keep thinking energy is something you must buy from their patrons.

  © 2009 Oso Renewable Energy