Wallkill Prison Solar Thermal System InstallationArun base
The SunMaxx Solar System, located at the Wallkill Correctional Facility (Ulster County) seeks to harness the power of the sun to meet the hot water needs of the 608-bed, medium security men’s prison. The system includes 1440 evacuated tubes in 3 pods of 16 collectors arranged in 3 rows of 4 collectors. The system does not contain storage, an innovative design strategy that was implemented given the load profile of the facility. A glycol/water solution is circulated through the durable, closed-loop system, and is capable of preheating vast volumes of water used for showers, laundry, and kitchen facilities.
On the day the system was commissioned, it performed exactly how it was designed. Even with frost on the tubes on an early January day, the system yielded 134 deg F. The1440 tubes produced 297,000 BTU’s per hour (210 per tube) dumped directly into the Domestic hot water supply raising the variable domestic flow by 30 degrees. The project is expected to reduce the facility’s current oil consumption by 160,000 gallons, and requires minimal annual maintenance. This is the largest evacuated tube system for any prison in the USA.
Technicians from SunMaxx Solar aided in the design of the system. The project being was funded in part by a $250,000 Renewable Energy Program grant from the New York Power Authority. The project s expected to pay for itself in 20 years, and have a life expectancy of more then 30 years. In June 2010, the project was honored as the Best New York State Government Solar Project of the Year by the NYS Solar Energy Industries Association at their annual conference in Albany.