Solar Electric and Thermal Energy

The ability to generate your own domestic energy needs has never been easier and more affordable than right now!  Take advantage of Alberta’s abundant solar resource to drastically reduce your utility bills and to be a leader in the energy revolution.

How It Works

The process is simple, and Acres West will take care of all the details; including permitting, inspections and final commissioning of your solar energy system.  Here is some information on the two types of modern, sun-capturing technologies being deployed all over the globe to bring energy independence home.

Solar Thermal

The sun’s energy can be captured in two forms; the first, and most basic is one that we are all familiar with called thermal absorption. Said plainly, it’s solar heat! This method of using the sun’s energy is common to all life on Earth, since all you need to do is lay out on a beach towel (in Alberta, we’ll say a deck!) and feel the warmth of the sun heating your skin and every surface it touches.

*Solar thermal collector using evacuated tubesThat principle has been optimized in solar thermal energy systems to transfer the thermal energy of the sun from an evacuated tube collector (see image below) to a glycol fluid, which does not freeze in our climate. This energy-carrying glycol fluid is then channelled to a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat from the fluid to your domestic hot water tank, or to another heating loop, like radiant in-floor heating.

Properly sized and installed, solar thermal energy systems will dramatically cut down the amount of heating energy being used in your residence. These systems will save you money, cut down your dependence on fossil fuels for heating and give you tremendous satisfaction that you are doing your part to usher in a more sustainable energy future. The choice is clear with solar thermal.

Solar Electric

The second form of solar energy that can be captured and put to use in your home is solar electric, or photovoltaic energy, often call PV for short (see picture below). The notion of converting the sun’s rays into useable electrical energy is by no means new; however developments in the past few years have made it MUCH more accessible and affordable to the average, eco-conscious home owner.

The first development occurred in 2008, when Alberta decided to allow grid-interactive renewable energy systems by passing the micro-generation legislation. The micro-gen rule means that individuals can now make their own electricity at home and, through the application process, they will receive a free bi-directional meter in place of their existing standard meter. The bi-directional meter allows a micro-generator to be compensated for the excess power they send out to the grid.

This is great news for renewable enthusiasts and those looking to reduce their dependence on the commercial utility grid without completely overhauling their lifestyles to go “off-grid”. Now we have the choice to contribute by offsetting our use of fossil fuels and seriously reducing our personal consumption of coal-fired electricity!

The second major development has occurred in nearly the same time-frame as the Alberta legislation having been introduced, though it is unrelated. The price of solar PV modules has come down drastically! What was once a niche product for the very wealthy, is now a ubiquitous consumer product that can be deployed extensively with a modest return on investment. Now we all have the ability to change our mix of domestic energy sources by employing clean, renewable energy to power our household appliances!

Power and Water Green Technologies

Solar Energy

Solar Electric and Thermal Energy

The ability to generate your own domestic energy needs has never been easier and more affordable than right now!  Take advantage of Alberta’s abundant solar resource to drastically reduce your utility bills and to be a leader in the energy revolution.

How It Works

The process is simple, and Acres West will take care of all the details; including permitting, inspections and final commissioning of your solar energy system.  Here is some information on the two types of modern, sun-capturing technologies being deployed all over the globe to bring energy independence home.

Solar Thermal

The sun’s energy can be captured in two forms; the first, and most basic is one that we are all familiar with called thermal absorption. Said plainly, it’s solar heat! This method of using the sun’s energy is common to all life on Earth, since all you need to do is lay out on a beach towel (in Alberta, we’ll say a deck!) and feel the warmth of the sun heating your skin and every surface it touches.

*Solar thermal collector using evacuated tubesThat principle has been optimized in solar thermal energy systems to transfer the thermal energy of the sun from an evacuated tube collector (see image below) to a glycol fluid, which does not freeze in our climate. This energy-carrying glycol fluid is then channelled to a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat from the fluid to your domestic hot water tank, or to another heating loop, like radiant in-floor heating.

Properly sized and installed, solar thermal energy systems will dramatically cut down the amount of heating energy being used in your residence. These systems will save you money, cut down your dependence on fossil fuels for heating and give you tremendous satisfaction that you are doing your part to usher in a more sustainable energy future. The choice is clear with solar thermal.

Solar Electric

The second form of solar energy that can be captured and put to use in your home is solar electric, or photovoltaic energy, often call PV for short (see picture below). The notion of converting the sun’s rays into useable electrical energy is by no means new; however developments in the past few years have made it MUCH more accessible and affordable to the average, eco-conscious home owner.

The first development occurred in 2008, when Alberta decided to allow grid-interactive renewable energy systems by passing the micro-generation legislation. The micro-gen rule means that individuals can now make their own electricity at home and, through the application process, they will receive a free bi-directional meter in place of their existing standard meter. The bi-directional meter allows a micro-generator to be compensated for the excess power they send out to the grid.

This is great news for renewable enthusiasts and those looking to reduce their dependence on the commercial utility grid without completely overhauling their lifestyles to go “off-grid”. Now we have the choice to contribute by offsetting our use of fossil fuels and seriously reducing our personal consumption of coal-fired electricity!

The second major development has occurred in nearly the same time-frame as the Alberta legislation having been introduced, though it is unrelated. The price of solar PV modules has come down drastically! What was once a niche product for the very wealthy, is now a ubiquitous consumer product that can be deployed extensively with a modest return on investment. Now we all have the ability to change our mix of domestic energy sources by employing clean, renewable energy to power our household appliances!