The United States Military Base at Fort Drum in upstate New York is considered to be the « solar air heating capital of the world », approaching 10 MW of thermal capacity. The base has embraced the ongoing use of SolarWall® heating on their buildings, with more than 175,000 ft2 of SolarWall collectors installed on over 50 buildings at the base. Solar air heating systems have been applied to a wide variety of vehicle maintenance garages, hangars, storage facilities and other buildings in both retrofit and new construction.
The original SolarWall installations at Fort Drum began in 2005. The Army Corp of Engineers at the base commissioned a multi-million dollar retrofit program to upgrade 27 of their vehicle maintenance and hangar buildings. Conserval worked closely with the military base over the two year duration of the contract in the design, manufacturing and installation of the SolarWall systems. It was one of the largest and most extensive solar air heating projects in the world in terms of the sheer magnitude of energy and CO2 savings, and it showcased the tremendous potential for solar thermal when it is deployed on a large scale. 50 SolarWall® heating systems installed on 27 buildings 110,000 square feet (10,220 m2) of SolarWall® panels 300,000 cfm (510,000 m3/h) of air heated with 99 fans Projected fuels savings of 44,000 million BTU/h (46,000 GJ) per year 4 MW of thermal energy capacity 2,000 tons of CO2 displacement per year This project was one of the reasons why the U.S. Corp of Engineers, in 2006, identified the SolarWall® system as one of two cost-effective technologies ideally suited for military buildings, such as vehicle maintenance garages. Conserval customized the interior heat distribution for optimal performance in each building. In total, 99 fans were used to deliver 300,000 cfm of air. As well, new air makeup fans and distribution ducting were installed to improve the ventilation air in some of the older facilities. In some cases the air was brought in through wall fans, in other cases through roof mounted fans or HVAC units. The issue of destratification was present in many of the buildings; the temperature at the ceiling of tall hangars was as much as 20 F (12 C) hotter than floor temperature prior to the installations. The SolarWall ducting systems were designed to eliminate the stratified ceiling heat, resulting in additional destratification savings.
Fort Drum is a Net Zero Energy Base so all new buildings must achieve certain energy targets. The SolarWall technology continues to be specified as a cost-effective solution to help reduce the traditional carbon footprint of new buildings and ensure compliance with the Net Zero Energy mandate. The various new projects showcases how solar heating is being used at the forefront of climate change solutions for the Military. Fort Drum installed another 65,000ft2 of SolarWall and SolarWall 2-Stage collectors on a wide variety of new base buildings over the past several years. The SolarWall 2-Stage systems are delivering a higher temperature rise, making it more suitable for space heating applications.Fort Drum(DOCX)