Location: Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast (and farmstead), Browntown, Wisconsin
Commissioned: May, 1998
System Design: Three 4-foot by 8-foot flat-plate American Solar King solar collectors for a domestic solar hot water system were placed on our south facing roof at about a 45-degree angle and optimized for spring and fall solar gain. The collectors had previously been installed on the Packerland meat processing facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The non-toxic and stable inhibited propylene glycol is used in this closed-loop active solar thermal system. The transfer fluid, when heated by the sun to a temperature greater than in the basement storage tank, controlled by the Heliotrope DTT-84 differential temperature controller, is then pumped into the basement with a super-efficient Grundfros 1/12-H.P. pump and passed through a Quad Rod heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to the water from our well. The hot water is stored in a locally purchased standard 80-gallon Rheem water tank that is connected to our existing 65-gallon electric water heater and tank.
Project Designer: Bob Ramlow, Artha Renewable Energy can be contacted at 9784 County K, Amherst WI 54406, Tel: 715-824-3463, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renewable Energy Systems Dealer: Real Goods
System Installer: Bob Ramlow, Artha Renewables
Use of Solar Thermal (heat): To heat domestic hot water for showers/hot water use. It's estimated that on a sunny day, each collector will collect an average of over 24,000 Btus per day.
Eco-nomics (Cost of 3 Collector Solar Thermal System):
Solar Thermal Funding Support: Provided by local utility, Alliant Energy (at the time).
Ecological Impacts: Since about 10-15% of an average home's energy use goes toward heating hot water, the three collectors will help off-set about 50 percent of the energy normally used to heat water.
Site Integration: Integration of solar thermal system to help meet hot water needs of home-based hospitality business.
System Maintenance and Updates: After about a decade, the circulating pump was switched to a Grundfos pump, to better circulate the fluid to the collectors on the roof. The sensor wire was also replaced due to failure and the antifreeze solution was replaced due to natural degradation over time. In 2012, the collectors were placed on the ground immediately in front of the back entranceway of the house when the farmhouse roof was repaired and a metal standing seem roof added. This will allow easier access to clear the collectors of snow and intermittantly release any build-up of air through bleeders on the system.
Comprehensive Farmstead Overview and Self-guided Booklet: Print out the 20 page booklet, The Good Life Guide: A self-guided tour of Inn Serendipity & the renewable energy systems that make it possible for a more detailed overview of the renewable energy systems employed on the farm.
Demonstration Grant Funding Support: Portions of this website and related Good Life Guide: A self-guided tour of Inn Serendipity & the renewable energy systems that make it possible were made possible, in part, through funding provided by the Wisconsin Focus on Energy program.