Affordable Solar Thermal Consumer Products Growing

RE Outlook 2003 – As the price of conventional heating fuels rises each year, more and more consumers are discovering the low purchase price and many benefits of solar air and water heating products.

RE Outlook 2003 – January 13, 2003 As the price of conventional heating fuels rises each year, more and more consumers are discovering the low purchase price and many benefits of solar air and water heating products. Even the few new owners of high-ticket solar electric arrays, who seldom use all those kilowatts for heating their homes, still need to add conventional heat or revert to some type of solar or geothermal heating methods to stay warm once they’ve covered their roofs with PV power. Small solar electric power toys, calculators and mini outdoor garden lights are currently what most consumers think solar energy is all about. So much of the industry hype about the use of solar energy has been about large, costly solar electric installations, many people have not been aware of the low cost, simple and highly efficient (50 to 80 percent) heat conversion provided by solar air and solar water heating products. They’re starting to get very curious, however. A number of innovative new consumer-level solar products were successfully introduced this year in the United States that will heat homes using interior window-mounted radiant heating drapes and forced air heaters. They are also able to warm water in pools and spas, cook food, and nearly eliminate heat loss inside at night through windows with a special thermal barrier fabric. As word of mouth and testing results circulated on the Internet in 2002, many consumers couldn’t wait to place their orders so they could try something – anything – that would lower their costly utility bills. Yes, they’re curious and looking because they don’t trust the power grid generators any more and they’re tired of spending so much of their paychecks on utility bills. The future looks very bright for increased sales of moderate to low cost and easy to use Renewable Energy products, especially solar thermal devices that offer a practical solution to the high cost of heating water or air and cooking food. Until recently, very few portable, multi-use solar heating products have been available to the public. But the word is out and many countries and large businesses have expressed keen interest and started placing orders. Normally, the public is shy to new technology, but as they become more and more interested and learn more about the use of Renewable Energy, and wonder why we are still so dependant on non-renewable fuel sources, they will soon be demanding change and more affordable products. The next great global industry – the production of Renewable Energy products – is taking shape and it will far surpass the recent computer boom. As well, the solar thermal consumer market has begun to blossom and the sky’s the limit (pun intended). About the Author: Deris Jeannette chose to enter the Renewable Energy field, his third career, nearly four years ago when he founded ClearDome Solar Systems in San Diego, California. He uses his creative background honed from two unrelated fields, photojournalism and video production to improve, invent and innovate in his present career as a solar thermal product designer. He can be reached at deris@cleardomesolar.com
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