The Army, Navy and Air Force Go Solar

(Go Green Solar Solutions is proud to have helped the military reach its renewable energy goals.  GGSS installed 2 solar carports at the Los Angeles Air Force Base that provide 360kW of power, and provide shade for over 200 cars.

From the battlefield to stateside bases, the U.S. military has proven that solar is reliable.

The Army, Navy and Air Force are using more than 130 megawatts of solar for everything from powering remote special operations to air conditioning and lighting for U.S. base residences. And the forces intend to keep building toward 3 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2025 as part of a much bigger Department of Defense (DOD) commitment.

While detractors were declaring solar too intermittent to be reliable at home, U.S. Marines were successfully relying on it at battlefield sites in the Khyber Pass, according to Enlisting the Sun: Powering the U.S. Military with Solar Energy, a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), released just in time for Armed Forces Day on May 18.

The DOD’s annual $20 billion energy budget makes it the biggest single energy consumer in the world.

USC 2911 of DOD’s title 10 Energy Performance Goals, as updated in 2009, requires 25 percent of total military facility energy consumption to come from renewable energy sources by 2025.

Driven by that target, the Navy has installed more than 58 megawatts at or near bases in Washington, D.C. and twelve states. It has plans to exceed the basic plan by obtaining 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Its plans call for 57 percent of its new renewables to be from photovoltaic (PV) solar through 2017.

The Air Force, the military’s biggest energy consumer, has built 38 megawatts of solar capacity operating in 24 states. It will procure 1 gigawatt of renewables by 2016. The plan is for PV to be more than 70 percent of all new Air Force renewable capacity through 2017.

The Army has installed over 36 megawatts of solar installed at bases in sixteen states on its way to procuring 1 gigawatt of renewable capacity. Solar will account for one-third of the Army’s planned renewable capacity additions through 2017.



Solar Pool Heating – Swimming in March with No Heating Bill

by Lauren Dansey

We couldn’t be more pleased with our solar pool heating system.  We have been swimming since late March, and the pool has been 85 to 90 degrees without turning on the gas heater.  But there are some good reasons why we’ve been able to maintain that temperature.

The solar pool heating system heats up the pool during the day, but that heat will be lost at night if you don’t use a pool cover.  As you can see from the picture, we cut the bubble cover we got when we built the pool to fit the pool almost exactly.  We also bought a pool cover reel to make it easy to put the cover on and off.  Without the reel, I think the cover would be too difficult to deal with.  Now, it’s one man (or woman) job to put the cover on or off.

We usually end up swimming on the weekends, and just leave the cover on during the week.  The pool will usually maintain its temperature over the weekend without the cover.  We’ve actually wanted to cool the pool down a little on some of our warmer weekends, and that happens at night without the cover.

For more information about solar pool heating, call us at 805-497-9808, or fill out the contact form on our website.

Solar Heating for the Pool – Working Great

by Lauren Dansey

The final installation for our two solar pool heating systems was completed last week, and we couldn’t be happier with the performance.  We installed two systems, a rooftop system (the dark panels below the solar electrical panels on our roof), and an in-deck solar heating system (underneath the concrete around the pool.)  The system begins to pump warm water into the pool as early as 8am, and continues until late in the afternoon. (We do have an ideal south-facing roof.)  We set the desired temperature, and a separate pump operates whenever the water in the solar panels is hotter than the pool temperature.  It shuts off when the desired temperature is reached.  The system pumps out an amazing amount of hot water — the kids are getting exercise by positioning themselves where the water comes into the pool and swimming against the current.

The in-deck pool heating system has an added advantage, also.  The concrete around the pool used to be too hot to walk on during hot afternoons, but now with the cooler water circulating underneath it, the concrete is much cooler.  The heat is carried to the pool.

The goal is to not use the pool heater at all.  We’re going to be careful to use a pool cover at night when the weather gets colder, and between that and the solar heating systems, we’ll see how warm we can keep the pool.

For more information about solar pool heating, call us at 805-497-9808, or fill out the contact sheet on our website.

Solar Heating for the Pool – Concrete is poured and pool is finished.


by Lauren Dansey

As the next step in our in-deck solar pool heating adventure, concrete was poured over the solar heating tubes.  When the concrete was poured, workers made sure that the tubes were approximately 2″ below the concrete surface.  This maximizes the heat that is transferred to the tubes, without the possibility of the tubes showing in the concrete.

To the right is the finished pool and deck.  The concrete gets very hot in the direct sun, so we’re looking forward to turning on the solar.  We can’t turn the heat or solar heating on until a  month has passed so the pool surface can cure, but the temperature without heating is a very comfortable 85 degrees.  The rooftop pool solar and in-deck solar heating will allow us to extend our swim season year-round, without increasing our utility bill.  I’ll bring you an update when the solar is turned on and let you know how it affects our heating bill.

To the left you can see the rooftop solar pool heating panels on the roof, below the solar electrical (PV) panels.  We used ten 4 ft. by 8 ft. Heliocol panels.  They are shorter than the normal Heliocol panels, designed for roofs that don’t have room for the larger panels.  Solar pool heating is the most cost-effective use of solar in your home, with a return on investment of just 2-4 years.  We’re looking forward to swimming into the fall.


Solar Heating for the Pool – Solar Tubing is Placed

By Lauren Dansey

The installation of our in-deck solar heating system is progressing.  The forms for the concrete were put in place, and then solar tubing was coiled where the cement will be poured.  As you can see from the pictures, as much tubing was put into the cement forms as possible.  The tubing should be about 2″ below the finished surface.  Darker deck surfaces work better for better heat absorption.

Deck coverage should be about 200 percent of the pool surface area, but we’re just putting in a small system to augment the Heliocol solar pool heating system that will go on the roof.

In-deck solar pool heating is appropriate for pool decks, tennis courts, driveways and sport courts.  It will also cool your deck or tennis court when the cool water is pumped through the tubing.

Call us for more information on in-deck solar pool heating, rooftop solar pool heating, solar electricity, radiant heating, and solar domestic hot water.  We can show you how to reduce your home’s utility bills, and extend your family’s swim season without paying more to heat your pool.

Next step … concrete is poured.

Solar Heating for the Pool – the Adventure Begins

By Lauren Dansey

At our home in Westlake Village, we power our home with a dual solar electrical system.  A 9.2kW Kyocera system is on the roof, and we also have a 3.2kW patio cover system.  Because of these two systems, we don’t pay an electric bill, and when we recently decided to put in a pool, we were concerned about the added cost each month to heat it.  Our home, our car, and our business are all  powered by solar, so we thought it was only natural to heat our pool with it.
We have a small yard, so we’re only putting about 100 square feet of concrete around the pool, but we decided to put in a small in-deck pool heating system.  Tubes are put into the concrete when it’s poured, and water is circulated through the tubes.  When the cement heats up, it heats up the water, and that warm water is circulated to the pool.  The cool water running through the cement (before it heats up) also serves to cool down the concrete slightly.  This system works well for people who are putting in new cement and don’t have a lot of room on their roof for a rooftop pool solar heating system.  We’re also considering adding some rooftop pool solar.  There’s not a lot of room because of the solar electrical system, but Heliocol now has some small rooftop panels available.  Between that and the in-deck system, we should be able to cut our pool heating bill substantially.
We will post updates and pictures on the installation as it progresses.