Cinco’s Installation at UTexas Awarded AEE’s “Renewable Energy Project of the Year”

June 10, 2011

News release –

Cinco Solar, Inc., a San Antonio-based distributor and integrator of stand-alone solar water heating systems, has been awarded the Association of Energy Engineers (Region IV) Renewable Energy Project of the Year Award for 2011.

The award was bestowed in connection with Cinco Solar’s installation at the Norman Hackerman Science Building at The University of Texas at Austin.
The solar water heating project at the Hackerman Building is a state-of-the-art installation that drastically cuts energy expenses for the facility. Cinco Solar’s system serves as a primary source of heat for the building’s HVAC dehumidification reheat process and, in cooler months, will supplement building heat. The application provides practical, meaningful results toward the sustainability efforts of the University.

“This system provides us with the additional capabilities we need to reduce our building steam consumption during the summer cooling months,” said Dan Costello, associate director for facilities maintenance at The University of Texas at Austin. “We have a strong desire to do this because it enables our campus’s Combined Heat and Power Plant to continue to operate at a very high efficiency during summer maintenance activities.”

This unconventional example of clean technology in action will put the power of the sun to beneficial use for years to come.

Dehumidification in a conventional HVAC system is accomplished by chilling incoming air to a temperature low enough to condense the moisture out of the air before it is delivered into a building. To remove enough moisture, incoming air is often chilled to a temperature well below the desired temperature of the occupied space; this over-chilled air must then be reheated to achieve the desired usable temperature in the facility. In the hottest seasons of the year, when air conditioning units work the hardest, there is an enormous demand for this application. Solar thermal technology, which produces maximum results during the intense solar radiation of the summer season, is a perfect application to provide the heat source for this otherwise inefficient process. As an added bonus, heat from Cinco Solar’s solar thermal system can be used during cooler months to provide building heat for the facility.
Facts about Cinco Solar’s system:

  • 185 evacuated tube solar thermal collectors installed
  • One of the largest evacuated tube solar thermal systems in the United States
  • Produces hot water used for HVAC dehumidification/reheat application and building heat
  • Solar energy supports 256,000 square feet of conditioned space
  • Expected annual production of more than two billion BTUs
  • Solar thermal system contributes towards LEED status of the new building
  • Custom control system interfaces with Siemens automated building management system (BMS)

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