Transpired Solar Walls

Building orientation plays an integral role in the way a building heats or cools during the course of a day. Transpired solar walls, also referred to as solar air heating, are green, efficient, and a cost effective method of supplemental air heating. These solar collectors take advantage of south facing exposure and preheat ventilation air during the heating season.

Transpired solar heating is installed on wall or roof locations. Ventilation air passes through small holes or slits to the air cavity where it is heated and then introduced to the ventilation system. These panels come in a single or two stage configurations depending on the building energy consumption and owner’s needs.

Transpired heat utilizes solar rays to heat the air drawn through the wall. Solar walls have a thermal efficiency of up to 80%. The system may be combined with a heat recovery ventilator to further increase efficiency. Free preheating is typically made use by the manufacturing and warehouse industry. Their multi-floor and low window area is ideal for installation of this system. However, the academic field has begun to take advantage of free solar heat for gymnasiums and auditoriums. These rooms are high volume ventilation areas and ideal for free pretreatment of air during events.

There are some considerations taken into account before selecting to install and utilize this technology.

  • Built-Up vs Pre-Manufactured: Transpired solar walls can be built on site by the contractor or pre-manufactured by a supplier. Take in consideration the size of the wall, aesthetics, cost, and on-site material staging when choosing what best fits your needs.
  • Orientation and Color: Various colors and orientations may be selected to conform to you aesthetic needs of you building. However, the direction of a wall and color will directly affect the effectiveness of the transpired wall.
  • Economizer Bypass: When the system is integral to a heating-cooling unit, a summer/winter bypass is typically added when pre-treating of the air is not required.
  • Only Supplemental: Transpired technology is typically used for pre-treating of air and combined with a fan and traditional heating coil. However it may reduce the size of equipment required.

Transpired solar wall technology is an efficient way of using solar energy to provide supplemental preheating of air. If you need assistance in understanding more about Transpired Solar Walls in your existing HVAC systems or for your next project, please do not hesitate to contact Douglas Barnhart at 717-845-7654 or dcb@ba-inc.com.

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