Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

MAREA Solar Hot Water Project Gives to Community

May 30, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

MAREA Solar Hot Water Project Delivers

Tom Green, P.E.

MAREA is delighted to announce that our years-long project to install a solar thermal hot water system at the Opportunity House (http://opphouse.org/) in Reading, is now complete! The large system is up and running, supporting the Opportunity House with domestic hot water for showers, cooking and childcare services provided to those in need.

The Opportunity House provides shelter for men, women and children and around-the-clock 24/7 daycare services. It also operates the Children’s Alliance Center for children in crisis and the Second Street Learning Center, which provides a variety of hands-on training for the disadvantaged, and provides supportive services for our veteran families in need of assistance. This wonderful community institution also has a large, unshaded south-facing roof—ah ha, talk about opportunity!

With a series of successful grant applications, plus monetary and in-kind donations, MAREA has installed a large solar thermal system on this sunny roof at no cost to the Opportunity House. The abundant hot water provided by this system reduces natural gas usage and related emissions. It also saves money, freeing resources for much-needed valuable community services.

The large solar thermal system is a pressurized glycol type system with 18 roof-mounted collectors, two 800 gallon storage tanks, eight heat exchangers, a 100-gallon expansion tank, hundreds of feet of piping, and an internet capable controller. Polysun, a solar system analyzer, has projected, for this location and project scope, a 50% annual energy savings for the shelter’s domestic hot water supply.

At our May meeting, MAREA Board Member and Professional Engineer, Tom Green will present a technical discussion of the system’s design details and operation (including performance data). He’ll share lots of pictures and tales of how this project unfolded, including design questions and decisions, lessons learned and other interesting firsthand perspectives.

We hope you’ll bring your questions and join us! The meeting is Tuesday, May 30, at 7:00 at TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031, between Kutztown and Allentown). Meetings are free and open to the public. After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!

Tom Green, P.E., is Director of Campus Energy Services at Kutztown University, with responsibilities that include the central heat plan, campus environmental control services and the utility infrastructure. He also manages the University’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Agreement (energy performance contract) with NORESCO and oversees all utility expenditures. Tom has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Energy Management.

For questions, contact Vera Cole, [masked] .

Need a gift…but don’t want to buy stuff?

If you’d like to make a donation to MAREA or buy someone a membership as a gift, let us know and we’ll handle the acknowledgement thoughtfully, by email or paper mail, with your input. Drop us a note at [masked] . And remember, all new memberships get a free copy of the DVD, “Saving Sunshine (https://themarea.org/saving-sunshine.shtml)”!

Free DVD with MAREA membership (https://themarea.org/join.shtml) While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of “Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. You can join at the meeting or anytime online (https://themarea.org/join.shtml). Thanks for your help.


May 30, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


TEK Park
9999 Hamilton Blvd.
Breinigsville, PA 18031 us


Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (eastern PA)