Here Comes the Sun
Doug Steadman now employs the sun to help him heat the water for the Squeeky Kleen Laundry in Kannapolis. His new solar thermal hot water system uses solar energy to preheat the water before it goes into the laundryís boiler. That saves energy which, in turn, means less air pollution from power plants.
Ten solar collectors mounted on top of the building collect and transfer the sunís heat to a liquid that circulates between the collectors and the laundryís 600-gallon pre-heat storage tank. On a sunny day, the liquid can reach temperatures of 100 degrees and more.
ěThe cost of energy was the motivating factor,î for installing the system, says Steadman, ěalthough I do what I can to be a good steward of the environment.î
He is also exploring the use of a photovoltaic system to provide electricity for his facility.
Argand Energy of Charlotte installed the system. Its president, Erik Lensch, points out that federal and state tax credits allow the payback for installing the system to take as little as three or four years. ěAfter that, a solar system owner will be getting half of the energy used to heat water for free,î he says.