Toronto Launches Project to Install Solar Thermal Systems

Toronto Hydro Energy Services has launched a pilot project to install 30 solar water heaters at a “significantly reduced price” using new technology.

TORONTO, Ontario, CA, 2001-12-06 [SolarAccess.com] Installed systems will cost C$1,900 for two 4×8-foot collectors, a saving of 25 percent off THES’s regular price of $2,500, according to Ken Nakahara. The solar systems are designed to provide one-half of the hot water for a four-person home. A typical home in Toronto spends $300 to $500 each year on hot water, which means the savings will be $150 to $250. The solar water heaters come with a full two-year parts and labour warranty, and THES offers to provide a full refund for any reason during the first year. Any major improvements developed during the first year will be added to your system for free. The solar systems are designed by EnerWorks, a new Canadian company that has tested its system at Queen’s University for three years. In May, the Canadian government invested $925,000 from its Climate Change Action Fund to develop the new company, which will sell 100 residential systems in Toronto, Guelph and Kingston in the next year. It expects to sell 100,000 units over the next decade. Residential water heaters in Canada emit a total of 15 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year. The 100 EnerWorks units will reduce emissions by 100 tonnes in the first year and a total of 522,000 tonnes over ten years. The units use low water flow and low pressure, to allow thinner tubing and smaller pump, while the solar absorber can be constructed with 40 percent less material. The system will have a controller and energy meter to monitor performance and energy savings, and the pump will use half the electricity of conventional units. The market for solar water heaters in Germany has increased by 20 percent per year, or 80,000 units each year. The market in China has doubled to one million systems during the past decade according to government statistics.
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