Reduced Carbon Footprint - Utah Ski Resort Solar Hot Water Application


Project (Fall 2009):  Reduce Hot Water Heating Cost

Place:  Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Design:  Caleffi Solar Collectors, Drainback Controller, Solar Storage Tank

Purchaser:  (Contractor) Harris-Dudley Co. - Salt Lake City, Utah, (Wholesaler) Hajoca, Salt Lake City, Utah


When this resort was looking to lessen their “carbon footprint” they called on industry leader Harris-Dudley Co. of Salt Lake City, Utah for guidance.  Harris-Dudley is a nationally recognized, award-winning leader of radiant floor heating system design and installation.   The Caleffi solar thermal system would cover a portion of the high domestic water heating loads.
Harris-Dudley ran calculations on a solar simulation program to determine investment, payback and return on investment. The payback numbers didn’t look great.  The lodge is only open five months a year and being a winter resort the building is closed down in the spring and summer. This seasonal use reduced the potential payback. The resort management team acknowledged the long payback but based their decision strictly on the “green” merits of the system.  The resort prides itself in reducing its carbon footprint and signed on for the installation.
The HD team decided on a drainback system due to the intermittent use pattern.  The system protects from stagnation and overheating by allowing the collectors to drain back when not in use.
Ten 4’x8’ Caleffi collectors pre-heat an 80-gallon Caleffi solar storage tank that feeds two existing DHW tanks backed up by an electric boiler. A dual-pumped drain back assembly feeds a 40-gallon drainback tank.  A Caleffi drainback controller keeps the system running smoothly.
The project was a big win for all involved.  The installation is on a 100-year-old former mining building and sees thousands of visitors from across the world every year.  The resort realized its goal of offsetting a portion of the large domestic water heating loads with clean solar energy. The job provided the local building department the ability to learn the requirements and specifics for solar installations in a mountain setting.  It provided Harris-Dudley with a highly visible installation in a beautiful mountain setting.

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