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SunMaxx Solar Completes Solar Thermal Installation at Northern Arizona University

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Project Quick Reference

  • Customer: Northern Arizona University
  • Location: Flagstaff, AZ
  • Building Type: Health and Learning Center
  • Solar System Type: Solar Hot Water
  • Type Of Solar Collectors: Evacuated Tubes
  • Solar Collector Model: ThermoPower-VHP30
  • Qty Of Solar Collectors: 102 (5697.72 ft2)
  • Anticipated Solar Fraction: 20%
  • Anticipated 15yr Energy Savings: $ 1,100,455
  • Install Completion Date: Summer 2011

Project Overview

In the summer of 2011, SunMaxx Solar completed a solar thermal installation at Northern Arizona University (NAU), which provided a domestic hot water system for the University’s new Health and Learning Center, the training facility for their NCAA sports. The project encompasses over 5,300 square feet of SunMaxx ThermoPower VHP-30 evacuated tube collectors. 102 individual collectors provide a domestic hot water system for the University’s new Health and Learning Center. This center, formally the NAU Recreation Center, was remodeled in 2011, creating the NAU Health and Learning Center. The newly remodeled facility includes an indoor jogging track, 38 foot climbing wall, larger weight room, multi-purpose gym and cardio theatre. It also includes all on-campus medical services that were previously housed at another location on campus. The new solar thermal system was installed and commissioned during the Summer of 2011.
NAU is located in Flagstaff, Arizona and its campus rests on approximately 740 acres. The solar thermal system was installed to reduce the energy footprint of the building, and in turn, the University gained LEED points (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – an Internationally recognized green building certification system). To achieve a LEED certification the university needs 70% of the domestic hot water to be provided by solar panels which exceeds 6% of renewable energy of the buildings total energy use.

Since the installation at NAU, they have recovered  60% of initial cost of solar installation through federal incentives and a local utility program.  The funding for this project was estimated at around of 1/3 of a million dollars.

Project Details & Further Information

Building Details

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Building Information 
Type of Building Health and Learning Center
Year of Construction 2011

Solar System Details

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Solar System Details
Solar Thermal System Type Solar Hot Water
Installation Date Summer 2011
Energy Production (annual) 387234
Anticipated Solar Fraction 20%
Type of Solar Collectors Evacuated Tubes
Collector Model ThermoPower-VHP30
Quantity of Solar Collectors 102
Gross Area of Collectors (ft2) 5697.7 ft2
Type of Mounting System Ballast

Financial Details

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Anticipated Annual Savings
Annual Savings (year 1) $ 56613.61
Anticipated Cumulative Energy Savings (3% Annual Energy Price Increase)
5 Year Cumulative Savings $ 348003.86
10 Year Cumulative Savings $ 696460.63
15 Year Cumulative Savings $ 1100455.35
20 Year Cumulative Savings $ 1568763.13

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