Solar hot water projects in use by the municipal government Solar hot water systems work by preheating water before it enters the existing water heating system. This reduces energy consumption and lowers energy costs.
The municipality is committed to using solar systems in publicly owned buildings. Fire stations and community centres use three different types of solar hot water technology to test the range of available technologies and help promote adoption of solar energy in the region.
Roof-mounted solar panels absorb sunlight and capture the heat from the sun to preheat the domestic hot water. Flat panels were installed at the following locations:
- Lakeside Volunteer Fire Station (#58)
- Middle Musquodoboit Volunteer Fire Station (#38)
- Central Fire Department (#3)
- Meaghers Grant Fire Station (#36)
- Findlay Community Centre
Evacuated tube panels
Evacuated tube technology is the most efficient solar collector used for water heating. Air is removed from the space between two glass tubes to form a vacuum, which allows sunlight to pass freely through the space to heat water while still preventing heat loss. Evacuated tubes even work well on cloudy days, absorbing the energy from infrared rays passed through clouds. Evacuated tube installations were completed at the following locations:
- Sackville Fire Station (#10)
- Cole Harbour Fire Station (#17)
- Eastern Passage Fire Station (#16)
- Black Point Volunteer Fire Station (#56)
The SolarBeam provides solar hot water at any desired temperature, and can maintain this temperature throughout the course of the day by tracking the sun. The SolarBeam stops tracking the sun once the hot water tanks have reached their optimum temperature. When the temperature drops, the SolarBeam starts tracking again.
One SolarBeam can provide more energy per day than conventional hot water panels, providing up to 12 kilowatts of thermal heat per hour, while requiring less space. The SolarBeam provides solar-heatedhot water to two 120-gallon tanks. In Halifax, the Mainland North Fire Station (#7) has a SolarBeam installation.