Solar Air-Heating Roof for Army Maintenance Building

DATE: Spring 2012

American Solar recently commissioned the solar air heating roof retrofit at an Army maintenance facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (APG). The solar roof retrofit involved removal of a failed corrugated concrete roof and installation of a solar air heating metal roof.

The system included re-roofing 125,000 square feet of roof replacement with a new solar air heating metal roof and membrane roofing, installation of new metal siding and reconfiguration of the roof drainage. The standing seam metal roof is designed to last for 40 years.

Solar heated air from the roof is used for direct space heating of the shop floor using overhead fans and ducts to direct solar heated air from the roof down to the open floor area. The total capacity of the system is 2,000,000 BTU/hr. It is the largest solar air heating roof in North America.

The solar air heating metal roof was installed over the entire sloped roof of the building. Solar heat recovery fans and ducts were installed on the south, east, and west facing slopes of the roof to deliver solar heated air to the shop floor. The solar heated air flow is mixed with air from the top of the high bay areas to recover warm air that collects at the top of the high bay ceiling and deliver it back to the work area of the shop floor. Post installation testing in January showed the system provides air that is typically 35F warmer than outside air.

American Solar helped develop the project by providing cost estimates and input on the statements of work. The project was bid out to the six Multiple Award Task Order Contractors (MATOCs) at APG. Upon award, American Solar provided the design, construction engineering review and oversight, and commissioning.