Large Heat Recovery System Hill AFB

DATE: Fall 2008

American Solar installed what is probably the largest solar heat recovery system in the US. The system captures solar heat from the existing walls and roof of 2 buildings.

The first building is a six-acre medical depot with corrugated brown siding and a light brown metal roof. The solar heated air is recovered from the siding and roof for space heating and for year round heating of a large paint booth. The total solar roof and wall surface area used for solar heating is approximately 10,000 square feet.

The second building is an F-16 and A-10 aircraft maintenance hangar over 500’ long and 180’ wide with dark brown corrugated metal siding. American Solar installed solar heat recovery fans inside the hangar to direct the solar heated air from the existing walls into the occupied hangar bays. Seventeen solar heat recovery fans were installed to pull heat from the 10,000 square feet of southeast and southwest facing walls.

Both systems are connected to the base energy management and control system for monitoring and control of the fans.

Despite the constrained work environment around the aircraft and the complex controls and monitoring system, the systems were installed for about $7 per square foot. This is approximately one-half to one-third the cost of a newly installed system with new solar siding or roofing. Despite the low cost, tests showed that the existing brown wall could deliver solar air at temperatures of 50 degrees F above outside air temperatures.