Rayvience a solar hot water technology based on a pump free thermosyphon convection flow system.

Going Green Without Going Into the Red : Solar Hot Water Systems

by Arturo Herrera on June 2, 2017

SSF is starting a new webinar series to feature green energy and environmentally friendly technologies with big potential benefits. The purpose of Going Green Without Going Into the Red is to learn about green technology applications and provide developers an opportunity to feature their innovations.

The format for Going Green Without Going Into the Red will be

  • a presentation by a technical expert about the technology area
  • a short product presentation by developer
  • questioning by the expert
  • audience Q&A.

Scott Sklar, a noted clean energy technology leader  agreed to be the expert to kick off the series. Scott was the Executive Director of the Solar Energy Industries Association, so we are starting with a solar application and focusing on hot water heating. Water heating systems are the second biggest user of electricity in the home, accounting for an average of 18 percent of electricity costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So the impact of solar alternatives is significant.

Rayviance Installed

Solar energy can be used in several ways to heat water for domestic, commercial and industrial uses. Examples include photo voltaic cells to generate electricity for hot water heaters and both passive and active thermal solar systems for direct heat. With the cost of solar equipment dropping, there are significant savings in solar hot water, but what are the considerations in determining which technology is best for your situation?

In this 60-minute webinar, Scott Sklar reviewed the pros and cons of investing in a solar hot water system (residential, commercial and industrial uses) and what to consider in making the investment decision. We also heard from Arden Steiner, co-founder of Rayviance. The firm has added innovations to its license for a solar hot water technology based on a pump free thermosyphon convection flow system. Arden has installed the system in a number of commercial and residential sites and will present them as case studies in the webinar. He will explain why Rayviance has significant operational and cost advantages over the alternatives. Scott will question Arden about the technology and it’s advantages.

Solar Hotwater Webinar – What you need to know from Security & Sustainability Forum on Vimeo.

Also, download the webinar slides here.

Meet the Panel

Scott Sklar is President of The Stella Group, Ltd. a strategic policy and clean technology optimization firm facilitating clean distributed energy utilization which includes advanced batteries and controls, energy efficiency, fuel cells, geoexchange, heat engines, minigeneration (propane/natural gas), microhydropower (and freeflow, tidal, wave), modular biomass, photovoltaics, small wind, and solar thermal (including daylighting, water heating, industrial preheat, building air-conditioning, and electric power generation). Previously, Scott Sklar served for 15 years simultaneously running two Washington, DC-based trade associations, as Executive Director of both the Solar Energy Industries Association and the National BioEnergy Industries Association.

Arden Steiner is a business owner in the energy industry. He is the general manager of Affordable Fuels, a full service energy marketer in Middleburg, Pa. Arden is also one of the founders of Rayviance, which has the US license for the solar hot water system. The technology was originally developed by the U.S. Agency for International Development for a project in Nepal. Arden and his team subsequently added a number of improvements to enhance the system’s operational efficiency and durability. Arden will provide case studies by describing specific installations.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jon June 4, 2017 at 6:53 pm

I’m looking forward to seeing this webinar either live or the recording (not sure I can make the time). What I would like to know are the economics/ ROI of solar thermal hot water systems vs solar PV plus heat pump and/ or instant hot water. This likely varies with region and quality of parts. I’m working in southwestern British Columbia and would like to consult in other areas of the province as well.
An important factor is the decreasing cost of PV, and in turn, the reliability of PV systems. I haven’t seen reports evaluating different manufacturers. I know one installer who will only use German-built PV.

My personal experience with thermal hot water has been a bit disappointing. I thought our 2005 system would be a breeze, a proven simple technology, but apparently I was an early adopter in a region with limited (one) system choice. The system was not designed for easy replacement of the food-grade glycol and I learned to late about the corroding factors of old glycol. When the pump had low to no pressure it was hard to tell if it was a leak or a pump problem. The manufacturer said my only choice was to send them the pump at my own expense across the country to Ontario. My white elephant may have paid for itself, but I can’t afford to dismantle it. …
Caution and quality control are needed with any rapid adoption of technologies that are new to most consumers.


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