U.S. Naval Base Solar Water Heating


Project (Summer 2010):  Install Solar Pre-Heating on Soldier Apartment Housing

Place:  Meridan, Miss.

Design:  Solar Collectors, Solar Controller, Solar Safety Relief Valves

Purchaser:  (Contractor) McKelvey Mechanical, Inc. - Tuscaloosa, Ala., (Consulting Engineer) Hattemer, Hornsby & Bailey, P.C - Prattville, Ala.


The building selected for the system houses base personnel as well as visitors.  The building has a full laundry facility, which provides for a consistent daily hot water load.  A 48-collector, closed-loop glycol system was specified for the project.  Installing this much collector area posed challenges.  To accommodate 1900 square feet of collector the decision was made to ground-mount the array.  A large meadow adjacent to the parking lot provided ample room for installing the collectors.
A local contractor was selected to remove a few trees from the meadow to assure good solar exposure.  To be sensitive to the area, the trees were removed with horses and taken to a nearby saw mill for use.
The installation included trenching across an existing parking lot.  Pre-insulated steel pipe was used to cross from the solar array to the mechanical room.  Two 1500 gallon insulated tanks were installed to provide solar storage.
McKelvey Mechanical was the contractor selected to perform the installation.  McKelvey has completed other upgrade projects on the base, and has worked closely with the military base engineering team.  Hot water down time was minimized with careful planning.
Tom Hattemer of HHB Engineering was responsible for the design.  Tom has been responsible for several other energy upgrades on the base.   Tom  has solar thermal on his own home and is a big proponent of solar thermal on military bases. 
Commanders and staff from numerous other bases around the country have traveled to Meridian to see the installation and formulate plans to install solar thermal on other bases they oversee.

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