– Another Milestone towards Enabling Integrated Solar Heating across the US
May 27, 2010
Santa Fe, N.M. – SolarLogic LLC, a Santa Fe start-up aimed at enabling any heating contractor across the U.S. to install solar heating, hosted its first training for installers by special invitation. This follows deployment of first-generation SolarLogic products in homes in New Mexico and Virginia and represents a key milestone in SolarLogic’s plans for delivering its products and services to the larger market at the end of 2010.
SolarLogic first made headlines in 2009 when the company won a local Economic Development Grant from the City of Santa Fe. Since then, the company’s focus has been on developing its flagship products, the SLIC (SolarLogic Integrated Controller) and the SLASH-D (SolarLogic-Assisted Solar Heating Design website). The combination of these two products manages the inherent complexity in solar heating system design and control, removing the burden of expertise from the installer. The training this month focused on the SLIC and was attended by heating contractors from New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia who will be installing the SLIC in homes this year.
“This event was a crucial step for us. We have been focused on product development for the past year and this was a great opportunity to get feedback from some very good installers on our control product. Our long-term business model is to provide training to installers, have them install the SLIC in solar heating systems designed by us, and then use the system’s internet connectivity to support their installations remotely,” explained Fred Milder, CEO of SolarLogic. “The training proved to us that this business model works. The installers are hungry for our products because we are the only company approaching design and control of solar heating as a single process.”
Currently heating contractors assemble solar heating controls with a variety of off-the-shelf hardware components, many of which are not designed specifically for solar heating systems. Since such systems generally integrate solar and one auxiliary heat source with multiple heating loads (radiant floors, domestic hot water, pools, spas, etc.) the complexity of the required control system has kept most contractors out of the market. The SLIC, which completely eliminates that complexity by providing an integrated, off-the-shelf combination hardware/software solution, will enable a much broader cross-section of heating contractors to sell and install solar heating systems without extensive training.
Feedback from training attendees validates the SolarLogic business plan. Dana Orzel, a long-time solar heating installer from Ridgway, CO, said, “The SLIC is the smartest solar hot water & boiler integrating controller I have seen on the market. The common sense approach taken by Solar Logic, LLC addresses the fundamental and advanced control parameters, and the current condition of every valve, sensor and relevant temperature, and it provides remote, web-based system trouble shooting and parameter adjustment. I have been waiting for a long time for a product like this.”
Jim Bowman of Barboursville, VA, a homeowner with a recent SLIC installation, added, “So many of the classes Frank [his installer] has taken over the years are lacking in any new or useful information to someone with his experience in the hydronic/solar fields. Would the claims of a new and better controller pan out… By the end of the day, everyone was very excited about the SLIC and the possibilities it will add to their businesses. There is nothing like it in the industry!”
Following the ongoing beta-test period for the SLIC, the company will unveil its 2nd generation product at the end of 2010. At that time, the SLIC will be made available to heating contractors across North America. SolarLogic plans to use the SLIC and SLASH-D products to effect over a 10-fold increase in solar heating installations in the next ten years.