In an encore episode, Steve D'Agostino, chief pilot of Best Rate of Climb, interviews Paul Adler, owner-operator of Southern New England Solar, which is based in Chilmark on Cape Cod and is the exclusive distributor of the SolarBeam for the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. They talk about making solar power work for your business or home.
There are three primary ways to heat water with the sun for residential or commercial use: a flat-panel collector; an evacuated-tube collector; and now a parabolic solar concentrator (also called SolarBeam). For a typical residential home, if you are just heating your domestic hot water, a flat-panel or evacuated-tube system would be more than adequate. However, if you have a large heating need, the best choice would be a parabolic solar concentrator.
In 2012, SolarBeam also began producing up to four kilowatts of electricity at the same time it is heating your water using the latest multi-junction solar-cell technology, currently designed by Boeing for space vehicles, which are 60 percent for more efficient than any other current photovoltaic cells currently available. These high-heat cells are used in conjunction with a new technology called CPV, or concentrator photo voltaic. SolarBeam is already the most powerful solar thermal collector in the world, for its size, using the latest two-axis tracking system and made in the USA.
The installation cost is similar to the cost for installation of flat-panel or evacuated-tube systems. In addition, the payback time is greatly reduced due to the higher efficiencies, the hotter water temperatures, and the two-axis direct-solar tracking.