Solar Heated Water at Erwin High
Solar Heated Water at Erwin High
Posted on 06/20/2018
Solar panels shine atop Clyde A. Erwin High School.BCS Energy Management / Communications Dept.

Things just heated up at Erwin High School with the installation of a new solar hot water system. This spring, local Asheville company Sugar Hollow Solar installed the racking mounts, panels, piping, pump, and controller. If you look closely, you can see the panels on the roof over the cafeteria as you approach the school from the main entrance.

The new system produces approximately 240,000 BTU per day and totals over 50 million BTU per year. Thanks to the EPA’s emission calculator, we know the energy produced from Erwin’s new solar hot water system will keep 3.2 tons of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere.

Solar panels provide energy to heat water in the Erwin High kitchen.“Projects like this keep us inspired,” said Sugar Hollow Solar co-founder Phelps Clarke. “We recognize Asheville is changing, and we want to play an active role in seeing that our hometown develops as sustainable as possible."

At Erwin, a large 300 gallon electric water heater was removed and 96 percent efficient HTP Phoenix water heaters were installed. The solar hot water system will supply pre-heated water to the kitchen, offsetting the need for a secondary fuel (natural gas) by as much as 84 percent.

Buncombe County Schools Energy Manager Alesha Reardon secured capital funds for the project, and looks forward to the energy and cost savings the project will yield over time.

“I’m excited that we have the opportunity to allow a school to benefit from the energy produced from these solar panels while also reducing our environmental footprint,” she said.

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• For more information, please contact Alesha Reardon, BCS Energy Manager, at 828.225.1109.
• Photos provided courtesy of Kevin Foy, Sugar Hollow Solar, and edited by BCS Communications.
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