The SolarBeam Concentrator is a solar hot water system that provides up to 12kWh of solar hot water. Since the system tracks the sun, it is more efficient than flat panels. The SolarBeam can be used in any application that requires solar hot water or solar heat.
Currently the Massachusetts government is paying commercial applications for solar heat. You can make a lot of money using SolarBeam for providing solar heat because it produces 12kWh from one system. You would need at least 15 flat panels to provide the same amount of solar heat. In Massachusetts you can get up to $50,000 rebate for solar hot water.
For more information on the grants available, see the link below: http://www.masscec.com/index.cfm/pid/11161/cdid/13797
The SolarBeam is a powerful solar water system that can produce more solar heat per m2 than flat panels or evacuated tubes. For example, if you had to heat 10,000 gallons of hot water to 150 F in 6 hours, 36 SolarBeams are required, compared to 468 flat panels ( typically 1 SolarBeam to 15 flat panels: based on type of flat panel and application type)
Since the SolarBeam can be installed on the ground or the roof. There is greater flexibility than flat panels or evacuated tubes that have to be installed on the roof. Also, rarely is there space to install 468 flat panels on the roof or on the ground (if the space is available)
When it comes to spacing of the SolarBeams, generally you can allow 20 feet apart for installation. This is dependant on your location and the layout for the SolarBeams.
Solar hot water scheme in Massachusettes
The Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program offers funding for solar hot water (“SHW”) systems at residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and public facilities. The program offers grants for SHW feasibility studies and construction projects. The information below pertains to feasibility studies for commercial-scale solar hot water projects.
The goal of the MassCEC funded Feasibility Studies is to help building owners1 assess the potential benefits of installing a solar hot water system. Feasibility Study grants will be awarded to building applicants who have procured an experienced consultant to submit the Feasibility Study Grant Application to the MassCEC and conduct the Feasibility Study on their behalf. MassCEC requires a site visit and a comprehensive report assessing the design considerations specified in the Feasibility Study Scope of Work, including, but not limited to, analysis of the site, the roof structure, the hot water load (to be measured through metering), and project economics.
1:A Feasibility Study is a prerequisite for all commercial-scale projects applying for a Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Construction Rebate. The Feasibility Study does not have to be funded by MassCEC to qualify. Building Owners may choose to complete a non-MassCEC funded Feasibility Study and apply to the MassCEC for a Construction Rebate only.
The first year of the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program will run from July 2012 through June 2013. The total program budget is $1.5 million, with approximately $1.35 million available for construction rebates and commercial feasibility studies. The funding will be expended on a “first come, first served” basis. The total funding available for Feasibility Study grants is $250,000. The maximum Feasibility Study grant is $5,000. All applicants are required to provide a cost share:
• Public Entities must demonstrate a cost share of 5% of the total feasibility study costs.
• Non-Public Entities must demonstrate a cost share of 25% of the total feasibility study cost.
For purposes of satisfying the Cost Share requirement, the Grantee may provide evidence of: payments to subcontractors/consultants, direct materials and/or costs.
To be eligible for a Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program Feasibility Study grant, systems must serve entities that are located in an electric utility territory that contributes to MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trust Fund, which includes customers served by National Grid, NSTAR, Unitil (Fitchburg Gas and Electric), WMECO or a participating Municipal Light Plant community. MassCEC will require applicants to submit a copy of their electric bill so that MassCEC can verify that the customer pays into the Renewable Energy Trust Fund. Projects may be for new construction or existing buildings.
Feasibility Study grants will not be awarded to proposed systems that would offset natural gas heating systems. However, building owners with natural gas heating systems may apply for construction funding. Systems heated by electricity, oil, propane, etc., are eligible for both Feasibility Study funding and Construction funding. Buildings used seasonally are not eligible for funding. The building must be occupied for more than 9 months a year and must be occupied during the summer months.