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Alaska Installing Solar Water Heating System for Educational Purposes


solar panelAlternative energy is not just for temperate or hot climate, nor just for windy shores but for cold places as well and a remarkable example is Alaska.

To reduce energy consumption, Denali Education Center has come up with an idea to install a hot water system, and they managed to make it one of the largest in the state. The system, installed by Golden Valley Electric Association, is acting in this moment as a test installation to determine whether similar technology might work in McKinley Village or other towns and remote villages in Alaska. The solar hot water system recently put in use is able to generate approximately 32,000 KWh of electricity and to save around AUD $11,000 per year.

120 square meters of flat panel solar thermal collectors and the array are placed at a hight of 13m. The water tank holds 10,000 liters and it is pumped through 600 meters of insulated pipes to the cabins. Actual system has a huge efficiency and cost reduction for Denali Education Center as the traditional electrical power generator had a consumption of about 300 KW per day.

Besides the purpose of generating energy for their own, Denali Education Center teamed up with Solar Energy International for educational reasons. Together they will provide some courses on design, installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems. As well their target is to teach how to design and build efficient sustainable homes. An important fact is that solar hot water systems can reduce up to 75% of water heating costs. Quite impressive I would say. But future discovery will be for sure more efficient. We cannot stop here when we’ve gone so far.

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