Software & Data
The RETScreen Software Solar Air Heating Model can be used worldwide to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for solar air heating projects, ranging in size from replacement of conventional cladding with solar collectors to pre-heat or heat ventilation air for multi-unit residential buildings, gymnasiums, office buildings, warehouses or agricultural buildings, to solar collector installation for air-drying various crops, to pre-heating combustion air for duct firing, to ventilation systems retrofits for industrial buildings requiring large volumes of fresh air such as painting, welding, automotive fabrication, or other manufacturing plants. In addition, the effective thermal resistance (R-value) or thermal conductance (U-value) of a specific building envelope assembly can be calculated using an optional Building envelope properties tool . The software (available in multiple languages) also includes product, project and climate databases, and a detailed user manual. Solar air heaters (SAH) provide heat using solar energy. The energy performance of a solar air heating system is influenced by a number of factors. For example, these may include resource and design elements such as the amount of solar radiation hitting the solar collectors, the collector type, area, absorptivity and/or efficiency and shading, as well as the solar tracking mode (i.e. fixed, one-axis, azimuth or two-axis tracker), the slope and the azimuth (physical orientation) of the solar air heater. Other factors include the process (e.g. crop drying, combustion air) or ventilation air temperature, the roof and/or wall thermal resistance, the design airflow rate, the number of hours that the solar air heating system is operating and the design objective (i.e. high temperature rise, standard operation and high air volume). And the energy performance of a solar air heating system for industrial ventilation air will also be influenced by the floor area and the building temperature stratification. Refer to the SAH System Operation schematic for more information.