Solar Thermal '11 Logo

SOLAR THERMAL '11 - Agenda

Wednesday, November 30

Pre-Conference Workshops:

Introduction to Solar Thermal Technology with Ben Nusz, Mid-State Technical College

Click here for details on the Introduction to Solar Thermal Technology workshop.

Selling Nice Systems with Ellen Rohr, Bare Bones Biz

Click here for details on the Selling Nice Systems workshop.

Exhibitor set up from 6:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 1

7:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.
Welcome: Mayor Tom Barrett

Keynote Address: Solar Heating and Cooling: What's Hot in the Industry,  Mark Thornbloom, Kelelo Engineering

10:00 a.m.
Visit Exhibits

10:30 a.m.

Break Out Sessions

 - Hydronic Heat Emitters and Distribution Systems

  • Hydronic Heat Emitters and Distribution Systems Optimized for Renewable Energy Heat Sources- John Siegenthaler, P.E.

Hydronics is the “glue” that holds nearly all thermally based renewable energy systems together.  Modern hydronics allow for low water temperatures systems that enhance the efficiency of heat sources such as solar collectors, heat pumps, and solid fuel boilers.  This session will discuss several novel approaches that can be used to create simple, reliable, and highly energy efficient delivery systems for space heating using renewable energy sources.

 - Commercial Solar Space Heating

  • Commercial Solar Air Heating, Terry Mullville, Sunny Solutions

This presentation focus on the considerations of Solar Air Heating.  Topics that will be covered include the physics behind make-up air, solar space heating systems, closed loop and open loop systems, glazed and non-glazed collectors, Open loop transpired solar collectors, HVAC cfm requirements vs. collector airflow, Sick Building Syndrome, Direct dump, and HVAC Integrated systems.

  • Commercial Drainback Space Heating Systems, Brandon Leavitt, Sun-Way Solar

 - Solar Thermal Training and Credentialing

  • Solar Heating Credential Programs, Tehri Parker, NABCEP

NABCEP offers the only third party evaluated certification program for renewable energy system installers in the Nation. NABCEP certification has become the "gold standard" for evaluating installer qualifications. This presentation will introduce solar thermal professionals to the latest program changes, and new program options.

  • Solar Thermal Site Assessment Certificate and Midwest Solar Training Network, Nick Hylla, MREA

 - Solar Thermal Best Practices

  • Best Practices for Solar Water Heating Systems, Bob Ramlow, Artha Sustainable Living Center

Bob Ramlow is the author of Solar Water Heating and will discuss best practices from the book. 

  • A Hundred Solar Heated Houses Later- Bristol Stickney, Solar Logic

Over the past six years, over a hundred solar home heating systems have been installed in the cold regions of Northern New Mexico and other locations, all designed by this presenter. These systems are characterized by large banks of flat-plate collectors connected with closed-loop glycol piping systems. Primary loop (or hydraulic separator) "flow centers" are methodically employed, allowing multiple heat sources to be easily connected to multiple heat loads. A scalable piping pattern is implemented in each mechanical room to allow different combinations of components to be installed rapidly as needed in a modular way. This modular piping configuration also allows the electrical control system to become more standardized and scalable, with little or no new customization required from one solar home heating system to the next.

12:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.
Visit Exhibits

1:30 p.m.
Break Out Sessions

  - Energy Metering

  • Energy Metering Standards, Louis Frias, IMC Instruments

 - Emerging Technology

  • Building Interior Evacuated Tubes and Reflectors (BIETR)- Joel Goodman

The Building Interior Evacuated and Reflectors (BIETR) project for small and large buildings and additions, in rural and urban snow accumulations regions will be presented. The BIETR is a site built walk-in solar thermal roof and wall system, extremely integrated with building form and structure, combining high performance solar thermal evacuated collectors augmented with large nonimaging CPC type interior fixed reflectors troughs for cold climate snow accumulation regions. The BIETR integration of high performance solar thermal collector systems with building construction may have economic advantages by avoiding duplication of materials with improved aesthetics.

 - Solar Thermal for Commercial Buildings: Advanced Piping and Control Applications
primary/secondary piping and pumps schemes will be presented.Variable speed pump design with multiple zones will be discussed.
These systems are made possible by the use of digital controllers that allow for programable inputs and outputs; digital or analog.
BTU metering, data acquistion, SCADA/remote monitoring are part of an integral solar thermal control plant by use of these controllers.
learn how to move beyond the simple unitary solar thermal controllers and constant speed pumping.
Real world piping schematics with the associated control point lists and specific sequence of operations will be presented.

  • Craig Tarr, Energy Concepts

 - Commercial System Design

  • Commercial Drainback Systems, Bob Rohr, Caleffi Solar
  • Commercial Design Considerations, Dan Gretsch, Solar Hot

3:00 p.m.
Visit Exhibits

3:30 p.m.
Break Out Sessions

 - Solar Heating Applications for Breweries

  • Moderator: Clay Sterling, MREA
  • Anello Mollica, Central Waters Brewing
  • Brett Danke, Red Eye Brewing 

 - Non-profit programs

  • Solar Hot Water for the Classroom- Michael Shonka, Metropolitan Community College
  • Doing Good by Going Green-Project SOARR

Project SOARR is a non-profit organization that brings together at-risk youth, local business, volunteers, and environmental partners to harness the power of solar energy to make our communities a better and more sustainable place to live, and inspire the next generations of green leaders. The presentation will cover successful case studies, plans for growth, effective methods of education youth, opportunities for job placement and discuss on how to grow involvement and awareness of Project SOARR’s programs throughout the community.

  • Solar Assistance, Jason Edens, RREAL

Solar thermal is a technology closely aligned with the goals of public low-income energy assistance programs and is being deployed across the Midwest to mitigate poverty. Learn about state and regional efforts to integrate solar air heat, weatherization and energy assistance programming in the Midwest to provide long-term, clean, domestic solutions to low-income fuel poverty. Emphasis will be on Minnesota's success in deploying solar air heat as part of the State Weatherization program. Results from a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on this statewide effort will be presented as well.

 - Integrating Solar Hydronic Design with Smart Technology

  • Integrating Solar Hydronic Design and Control with Smart Products- Fred Milder, Solar Logic

For decades, the solar thermal industry has considered designing a home heating system as a separate process from the implementation of the controls which run that system. We at SolarLogic view the two tasks as facets of the same undertaking and have developed state-of-the-art software and hardware products which reflect that approach. Our SLASH-D is a website design tool that literally designs the system for the installer/contractor with minimal inputs. Its calculations include energy analysis, homeowner preferences, and actual, site-specific weather data; its outputs include a recommended solar panel configuration, a plumbing diagram, tank sizes and a parts list. The system configuration generated by the SLASH-D is stored in a software file that is used by the associated system control product, the SLIC. The SLIC is a web-enabled, embedded computer that replaces all other heating controls, including relays and logic, and provides a host of additional capabilities never before available to the installer and homeowner. This session will include real-time, online demonstrations of designing a solar home heating combisystem in the SLASH-D website, and logging in via the internet to an installed system controlled by a SLIC in New Mexico.

- Selling Solar

  • Selling Solar, David Biddle, Stiebel Eltron
  • Solar Thermal Advantage, Seth Warren Rose, Enerf Institute

5:00 p.m.
Evening Reception at Hyatt.  Featuring samples from Central Waters Brewing and Red Eye Brewing

Friday, December 2

7:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

ASES Solar Thermal Division Meeting

8:30 a.m.
Morning Plenary Session: Innovative Financing for Solar Thermal Systems

  • Dell Jones, Regensis Solar
  • Daniel Steelman, FLS Energy

10:00 a.m.
Visit Exhibits

10:30 a.m.

 - Tools of the Trade

  • Dealer and Distributor Agreements, Trent Johnson, Foley & Lardner
  • First Impression Management: Focusing on your Front Lines for Business Results, Clint Smith, Callsource

 - Commercial System Design Considerations

  • Design of Solar Thermal Commercial Installations, Joerg Gabler, Wagner Solar

This presentation will focus on Commercial and Large Solar Thermal Systems.  Which will include system sizing and design, stagnation proof layouts, Evacuated Tubes vs. Flat Plates vs. Large Collector Fields, SolarDrive, and Economics

  • Commercial System Design Considerations- Don Crawmer

Don Crawmer of Solar American Solutions with his 6 years of solar thermal experience. Combined with 35 years of manufacturing plant management and HAVC operations and sales experience.  Will present on the considerations and the design of commercial solar thermal system.

- Seasonal Storage/High Mass Systems

  • High Mass Storage, Ben Nusz, Mid-State Technical College
  • RREAL Headquarters Case Study- Jason Edens, RREAL
  • Mark Morgan, Bearpaw Design and Construction
  • Bob Ramlow, Artha Sustainable Living Center

- Solar Cooling

  • The Thermal Transformer - Solar-Powered Vapor Compression Air Conditioning, David Baker
  • Absorption Chiller Installations - Dave Heard, Solar Panel Plus

12:00 p.m.

-Solar Thermal Innovators Forum- Hosted by Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water Business Council
Join this facilitated lunch-time forum to connect directly with manufacturers, distributors and installers. You will help tackle issues and develop ideas that can move the solar thermal market toward mainstream implementation and sustainable economic viability. We will start with the overarching question: “How does solar thermal survive and flourish with low natural gas prices?”

1:00 p.m. Visit Exhibits

1:30 p.m.
Break Out Sessions

 -  Policy updates

  • What is Happening with National Solar Policy- SEIA Representative

 - 10 Steps for Solar Thermal System Design

  • Follow These 10 Steps for a great system Design, Kurt Koegel, Solar Skies

This presentation will show how the complex task of designing a solar thermal water heating system can be simplified. Ten specific steps will be presented and explained. These steps are a check list of the considerations that need to be investigated in order to design an efficient and cost effective system. This will include identifying loads, backup systems choices, choosing system types, identifying space for collectors and mechanicals, budget considerations, calculating load, how frequency affects the load, and sizing storage.

 - Large Commercial Heating Systems

  • Downtown St. Paul District Heating Using Solar, Nina Axelson, District Energy
  • Solar Cogeneration: Highest Efficiency = Highest Returns, Paul Davis, Cogenra Solar

- Solar Thermal Monitoring

  • Daniel Steelman, FLS Energy
  • Thomas Dinkel, Sunreports

Visit Exhibits

3:30 p.m.
Break Out Sessions

- Solar Thermal Greenhouse Applications

  • Stevens Point Greenhouse Plans, Ben Nusz, Mid-state Technical College
  • Growing Power Solar Thermal Heating, Ryan Dale, Growing Power

-Solar Thermal Financing in WI

  • Solar Financing in WI, Glen Fisher, Next Step Energy

The presentation will be composed of three parts to address past, current, and future opportunities in solar financing for Wisconsin. It is intended for the last 20 – 25 minutes to be a Q & A / brainstorming session for industry professionals. Glen will begin presenting on the topic of past initiatives in the state. This will include a summary of the Renewable Energy Finance Program from River Falls Municipal Utilities. In addition, a brief review of the unsuccessful adoption of PACE financing legislation. Amy will continue with an overview of the Solar Loan Program offered by the City of Milwaukee and Summit Credit Union. This will include a brief history of the program as well as their future goals. Amy and Glen will briefly comment on potential future opportunities to replicate solar financing programs around Wisconsin. At this point we would open the floor up to questions and would guide a discussion on financing possibilities. One goal would be to provide a brainstorming session to stimulate new financing initiatives

- Salt River Project

  • Municipal Utility Solar Water Heating Incentive Program, Joel Dickinson, Salt River Project

Salt River Project (SRP) a municipal utility with 930,000 customers began incentivizing the installation of residential solar water heaters in 2004. All told customers have installed nearly 4,000 gas and electric solar water heating systems in SRP territory. SRP is working together with the local solar industry and another utility developed an installation checklist referring to prior work by the Energy Trust of Oregon, Hawaii Electric Company (HECO), and the California Center for Sustainable Energy. We also used the guidelines and standards of the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). The goal of the audit was to verify that solar water heaters installed in SRP service territory conformed to the criterion used by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) to designate an OG-300 rating.

- Solar Air Heat Reconsidered

  • Solar Air Heat is Making a Comeback, Jason Edens, RREAL

Solar Air Heat is a cost effective and appropriate technology for supplemental space heating in cold climates. Learn the fundamentals and best practices of designing, installing and maintaining solar air heating systems in residential and commercial applications. Solar air heat has an important role to play in the the suite of sustainable solar heating technologies.

4:30 p.m.