Solar Space Heating in Northern BCSeveral
people have contacted me about using solar energy for space heating in
the Prince George area. We get a substancial amount of sun shine over
the course of a year. In fact, on an annual basis, we get slightly more
sun than Florida and slightly less than Arizona, however, ours is
mostly lumped into the summer season while theirs is spread more evenly
throughout the year.
During the heating season, the days are
much shorter with considerably more cloud cover. Solar space heating
has potential for autumn and spring seasons but in November, December,
and January, when we need it the most, it would not be very effective.
Inter-seasonal heat storage has potential. One would store the summer
heat in a large super-insulated under ground tank of water and use
it during the winter. Water stores 19 times more heat than an equal
volume of rock. Research on this technology is on-going.
two charts in the following link show how many "full sun" hours we get
per day and per month. The numbers represent the amount of solar
energy available in kilowatt-hours per square meter of collector
area during that period. For example, in March 2008, we averaged
3kWh per day so a 10 square meter collector would have been exposed to
30kWh of energy. It would have collected less than that depending
on the efficiency of the particular collector. The measured data
compares favorably with published figures which indicates that the
published data is a reliable design parameter.
Prince George Peak Sun Hours (kWh/M2)