As green building practices become more important not only for environmental reasons, but also for cost savings and tax credits, new products supporting this philosophy are popping up everywhere. This wealth of product information can be tedious to sort through for the building professional. InSpire Solar Collector is a metal wall system used to collect and distribute solar-heated, outside air for ventilation or processes, such as drying.
The concept was really simple when I met Tom Soden from InSpire at a Solar speaking gig.
The solar InSpire wall panel, a transpired solar collector, is mounted a few inches from the building’s outer wall. The precision perforations in the wall panels allow outside air to travel through the face of the panel. Solar heated air at the surface of the panel is drawn through the perforations where it rises between the two walls and enters the building’s ventilation system. The InSpire wall system is used to pre-heat outside air before it enters the building to provide fresh air changes and natural humidification, as well as opportunities to reduce energy consumption.
The wall panel is mounted at a specified distance of several inches from the outer wall of the building. InSpire features proprietary engineered perforations which allow outside air to be transpired (drawn through the wall panel) into the wall cavity via ventilation fans. InSpire wall panels are coated with a fluoropolymer (PVDF) coating system in colors which allow absorption of the sun’s energy to pre-heat surface and cavity air.
The solar generated pre-heated air transpires into the wall cavity and is drawn into the building’s interior through conventional ductwork. At ATAS, we have compiled green building information here regarding Cool Metal Roofing, Transpired Solar Collector panels, a building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system and various means of credits from the federal government, possible state credits and incentives from various companies.
Economics of Solar Heating
How much does it cost? How much do you save?
- Reduces annual energy consumption by 1 to 2 therms per sq. ft. of collector
- Reduces annual heating costs by $1.50 to $5.50 per sq. ft. of collector, depending on fuel replaced
- Simple payback of 3 to 8 years
Approximate cost $14 to $17 per sq. ft. of wall, installed.