Michigan Solar / Ohio Solar
Guideline for Estimation of Solar Potentials, Barriers and Effects
This section is mainly covering active solar heating, where the solar energy is transferred to heat in
solar collectors and from there transported by a fluid to its final use.
The yearly incoming solar energy varies from 600-1000 kWh/m2 North Chicago to e.g. 1077 kWh/m2
in Mid America and up to 1400 kWh/m2 in Southern areas on a horizontal surface. On a south sloping
surface, the incoming solar energy is about 20% higher.
For house-integrated systems, the limitations are normally that solar heating can only cover 60-80% of
the hot water demand and 25 - 50% of space heating. The variations are depending on location and
systems used. In Northern Europe the limitations are respectively 70% and 30% for hot water and
space heating coverage.
For central solar heating systems for district heating, analyses and experience show that these systems
can cover 5% of consumption without storage, 10% with 12 hour storage and about 80% with
seasonal storage. These figures are based on district heating systems which have 20% average energy
losses and mainly deliver to dwellings. The energy delivered from solar heating systems without storage
is by far the cheapest solution.
For industries that uses heat below 100oC, solar heating can cover about 30% if they have a steady
consumption of heat. For drying processes solar energy can cover up to 100% depending on season,
temperature, and limitations to drying period.
Solar heating to swimming pools can cover most of the heat demand for indoor pools and up to 100%
for outdoor pools used during summer.
To evaluate the potential for solar heating is, thus, most a question of assessing the demand
for low-temperature heat.
Most applications for solar heating are well developed, and the technical barrier is more lack of local
availability of a certain technology than lack of the technology as such. Thus the main barriers, beside
lack of information of available technologies and their optimal design and integration in heating systems.
lack of local skills for production and installation.
In some occasions lack of access to solar energy can be a barrier. For active solar heating it is almost
always possible to find a place for the solar collectors with enough sunshine. For passive solar energy,
where the solar energy is typically coming through normal windows, neighbouring buildings or high
trees can give a severe reduction of the solar energy gain.
Effect on economy, environment and employment
The economy of using solar energy ranges from almost no costs, when simple passive solar energy
designs are integrated into building design and land-use planning to very high costs for solar heating
systems with seasonal storage.
Industrial applications have a first priority over commercial applications as e.g. swimming pool/hot
water supply boosting multitasking systems purely because since there are so many industrial
opportunities in Michigan, where the customer can save not only money, but can also prove that he is
doing something for the environment in regard to ISO14000. For areas with heavy tourist industries as
in the Southern States hotel swimming pool applications should be the first priority.
The savings are net savings, in most applications in Northern America, the solar heat replaces an oil or
gas boiler that has a very low efficiency (often 30-50%) during summer. The total savings can then be
2-3 times larger than the net savings.
The heat produced in a solar heater replaces energy produced in more polluting ways, which is the
main environmental effect. The energy produced to produce a solar heater is equivalent to 1-4 years of
production of the solar heater.
Usually the solar collectors are mounted on top of a roof, in which case there is no local impact of the
Effects of employment
The majority of the employment is in the production and installation of solar heaters. Based on Danish
experience, the employment is estimated to 17 man-years to produce and install 1,000 m2 of solar
heaters for families. These 1,000 m2 replaces 800 MWh of primary energy (net energy production 400
MWh). With 30 years lifetime of the solar heaters, the constant employment of producing solar heaters
to replace 1 TWh will be 700 persons.
In principle all heat demand can be covered by solar energy with seasonal storage. There is therefore
no absolute limit to this resource, only economical limitations. In Denmark it is estimated that without
seasonal storage, solar energy can cover 13% of the heat demand, including commercial and industrial
use. In more sunny places, this fraction is naturally larger.
Please have a look at the website
where you can find exact data regarding sunshine hours for Detroit. This website is providing such
data for many cities around the globe. As for the average sun radiation intensity level I am realizing
after having made measurement with the Daystar meter in many locations during the past 6 weeks, the
sun radiation levels are a moving target. They fluctuate during the day. Levels of humidity and pollution
are affecting us here as well. But I still feel (and other distributors feel the same) that to assume an
average 600 Watt/m2 for all the calculations to define/calculate any Zemos Solar Boiler multitasking
system project. Anyhow we do not have any risk, since with the multitasking approach it will be
guaranteed that all available solar energy will be used.
One Zemos solar heat absorber tube reaches an output of max. 886 Watt at a sun radiation intensity of
Once installed you gain free solar energy for many years increasing its value as fossil fuels rise
in cost, Zemos design is for long life.
As your competitors cost of production rise you add value to your products and can be earth
friendly at the same time. An investment in the FUTURE.
If you have any sizing request for any location in the United States please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-989-746-0700