When it comes to commercial-scale solar thermal, many companies are reluctant to share what they’ve learned as they’ve grown with the industry. The idea that keeping that information to yourself, in my mind, fosters an industry that unnecessarily makes the same mistakes and results in poor system performance, excessive maintenance issues, and a lot of added expense in reacting to these problems.
Last month, I came across a news article describing a project involving Holocene Energy in Raleigh. I dug a little deeper and was extremely impressed by not only their product, but how open they were about sharing their technology. Holocene’s Fluid Handling system is a drainback tank package that includes storage, pump(s), controls, monitoring, and a couple of neat innovations like the immersion vent, which I asked Dr. Ben to explain in a little further detail:
Holocene’s approach to solar hot water embodies a philosophy that is very important in creating buildable, functional, and maintainable systems; minimizing your moving parts, number of heat exchangers, and staying away from glycol yields an efficient system that will last for a long time. There are still systems designed and built by Dr. Ben over 30 years ago that are still in service!