About Digital Solar Heat

Huge heating requirments for Recreation Centers especially those with pools and see significant reductions in OpEx and GHG emmissions

Brief History

The Challenge

Inter-Seasonal Storage

Beginning in 2003, while designing energy efficient homes, it was realized that it was possible to heat a home, office or  commercial buildings using solar heat.

In 2005, after overcoming many design  challenges, installations began. In 2010 design work began on a cold weather,  version targeted at Canadian winters.

If enough solar panels were engineered to offset significant thermal losses in winter, then summer solar energy would tend to over-generate thermal energy. Normally this heat energy would be vented. However, storing and reusing the heat later made real  economic sense. This solution required a mass-storage strategy. Patented 2010, 2016

What was required was a huge yet low cost way of storing the surplus heat energy for use later. To store this amount of heat energy typically requires an large area. A system was devised whereby heat could be stored in an insulated area beneath the  building. This energy can then be extracted on demand, and used during dark. times.

Storing Summer Heat for use in Winter = Inter-seasonal Storage

Massive reductions in Operating Costs & GHG emmissions

Residences  ~  Commercial ~ Industrial Pre-process

This includes Hydronic Heating and Hot Water Heating

LIMITS & REQUIREMENTS

As Seen On TV

  • The shell of the building must be thermally efficient to reduce thermal losses for the location.
  • There must be enough area (roof planes or other) for the  solar thermal panels.
  • Solar array must be oriented in the direction of the sun with minimum shadows.
  • Location must have reasonable solar isolation.
  • In many countries such as Canada, an approved backup heat source is required by code.
  • The preferred method of heating is by way of slab heat, insulated on the bottom.

BENEFITS OF HYDRONIC HEATING

Liveability: Hydronic heating is the most comfortable heating system available. You live in the area that is warm and loses less from the higher heated area. No scrubbing of heat against exterior walls, no noise, no drafts, high thermal efficiency, and safe low caloric heat source.

A custom version of the DSH system was featured in Consumers Magazine, as well as on the international TV program: Grand Designs Australia Episode 6 Season 4.  The featured home went on to win 13 National & International awards and sold for almost AU$2M. The complete TV show is very interesting and worth watching.

Chris, the owner/builder: An innovative underground heating solution began the journey of this unique build. “A subterranean heat storage system located underneath the house is heated by the roof-top solar tube collectors, releasing heat on demand to the entire house,” Chris explains. “There are two independent solar tube collectors. One heats domestic hot water with a solar and electric boost until it reaches 65C, then it switches back and heats either the ground-floor concrete slab or the heat core. The second collector is set to always heat the ground-floor slab if it hasn't reached the set temperature. The best part about the system is that it stores heat all year round for use when required.”

Click here for the CAD graphics TV program extraction

Size: It is often hard to conceal forced air ducting. This can lead to compromises being made in duct sizing or placement. Generally a comparable volume of water can absorb almost 3500 times more heat as the same volume of air for the same temperature change. To put this into real world context, a 3/4” pipe can carry  the same amount of heat as an 8 x 14 inch (20x36cm) air duct. The same applies to insulating the duct/pipe.

Design Flexibility: Aesthetically the lack of heat resisters can be a real bonus. In addition hydronic heating offer the ultimate in flexibility in design with a non intrusive footprint. As a bonus hydronic heat sources also function as hot water heat, reducing building envelope penetrations, heat sources and venting.

Noise: A hydronically heated area is typically noise free.

Draft free: No forced air induced drafts or dirt streaks near air heat or return registers..

Clean: Unlike forced air, hydronic heat does not circulate dirt, dust or pathogens throughout the building.

Non-invasive: Ducting can intrude into living or working space. Sometimes this leads to contractors trying to fit bulky ducts into load bearing structural elements, and in doing so this can lead to reduced load carrying capability or worse. No forced air ducting means more living area

roomtemp1

Normal cold weather heating  uses a forced air furnace, creating cold zones, dust  migration, noise, and drafts.  In addition forced air tends to scrub heat on Ext walls

DSH Hydronic heating is quiet, and heat tends to stratify in the key areas you occupy. In addition you are able to claw back space required for furnaces and ducts.

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