Soaking in the Sun: Page 3 of 3

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Inside this Article

SHW collectors on building
Flat-plate solar collectors provide hot water and space heating for the pool house.
Windows in pool room
Large, south-facing windows admit an abundance of natural light and warmth into the building’s interior.
Doing Watsu
Teachers and students practice the art of Watsu in the sun-warmed water and tranquil space.
Pool room ICFs
The pool house’s walls were constructed using insulating concrete forms (ICFs).
Home and solar arrays
The Chings’ home and pool house take full advantage of the sun’s energy for electricity, and space and water heating.
Greg & Debbie
Greg and Debbie Ching (and dog Casey) at their Nederland, Colorado, home.
Heat-retaining floor
Thick concrete floors in the pool house absorb and reradiate the sun’s heat.
The mechanical room
Inside the utility room—a glimpse of part of the hydronic heating system.
SHW collectors on building
Windows in pool room
Doing Watsu
Pool room ICFs
Home and solar arrays
Greg & Debbie
Heat-retaining floor
The mechanical room

Stellar Solar Success

The solar hot water collectors and passive solar design meet at least 75 percent of the heating needs of the pool and the building. Without the backup propane water heater, the solar hot water system keeps the pool temperature in the low 90s. The PV system meets about 75 percent of their summertime electrical needs, and offsets about 30 percent of the electrical demand in the winter.

The Chings were unable to take advantage of any financial incentives for solar energy at the time their system was installed—no rebates for PV or solar thermal systems existed that were applicable to their systems. But today, with the their utility’s rebate program and federal tax credits, Debbie and Greg are planning to add another array, expanding their PV system to the utility’s financed maximum of 10 KW. Payments for renewable energy credits from their existing systems are also available, which means they may be able to get up to $2.50 per installed DC watt.

To further offset the project’s expense and to share the splendor of the pool house and setting, the Chings now hold classes there, recruiting certified water-therapy instructors to teach students from all over the globe. And, of course, at the same time Debbie and Greg Ching are fostering a sense of community, they’re also showcasing solar technologies, furthering the future of renewable energy.

Access

George Blakey, Solar Works Construction, 618 Aspen Meadows Rd., Nederland, CO 80466 • gsblakey@earthlink.net • General/solar contractor

Greg & Debbie Ching, Aspen Meadows Aquatic Center, PO Box 372, Nederland, CO 80466 • 303-442-8855 • www.amaquatics.net

Building & RE Products Manufacturers:

Advance Foam Plastics Inc. • www.afprcontrol.com • Roof SIPs

Altair Energy • 800-836-8951 • www.altairenergy.com • PV system

Goldline Controls Inc. • 800-343-0826, ext. 152 • www.goldlinecontrols.com • Pump controller

Industrial Solar Technology • 303-279-8108 • www.industrialsolartech.com • Solar thermal & radiant heating system

Reward Wall Systems • 800-468-6344 • www.rewardwalls.com • ICF wall systems

Southwall Industries • 800 365-8794 • www.southwall.com • Heat Mirror windows

SunEarth Inc. • 909-434-3100 • www.sunearth.com • Solar hot water collectors

Taco • 401-942-8000 • www.taco-hvac.com • Circulation pump & valves

Tekmar • www.tekmarcontrols.com • Pump controllers & thermometers

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