– SolarLogic SLIC successfully operating solar home and water heating system in NM
November 2009 – SolarLogic, LLC of Santa Fe, NM, which made headlines earlier this year upon winning a City of Santa Fe Economic Development Grant, has successfully deployed its first “SLIC” (SolarLogic Integrated Control) at the home of Kenneth and Kathleen DeHoff, who had the SLIC integrated into their new solar-assisted heating system, built by Cedar Mountain Solar of Santa Fe.
The successful SLIC installation represents a landmark for the solar heating industry. Currently heating contractors assemble solar heating controls with a variety of off-the-shelf hardware components, many of which are not designed for solar heating systems. Since these systems generally integrate multiple heat sources (such as solar and one or more auxiliary heat sources) with multiple heating loads (radiant floors, domestic hot water, pools, spas, etc.) the complexity of controls has kept most contractors out of the market. The advent of the SLIC, which eliminates design and installation 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.
This first beta-SLIC installation provides solar-heated radiant floors and domestic hot water with boiler back-up. In addition, the solar collectors are used during summer nights to cool the radiant floors with a technique called Night-sky Radiant Cooling, an uncommon but cost- and energy-effective application pioneered by Bristol Stickney, SolarLogic’s Chief Technical Officer. In addition to on-site system control, the SLIC provides a bevy of ancillary benefits. It is connected to the internet and provides both the DeHoffs and SolarLogic with real-time and historical system monitoring, enabling remote diagnostics, remote system operation, and data-logging. “These additional features enhance the value of the system by giving the homeowner unparalleled access to system control and support, and providing a real-time window into system operation. Moreover, the SLIC can optimize solar thermal heat capture and utilization in ways not achievable before with component-based controls,” said SolarLogic CTO Bristol Stickney. At the stroke of a key on his home computer, system owner Ken DeHoff can use SLIC innovative features such as “whole-house solar-only mode” to maximize his energy savings.
“This is an exciting and significant milestone in products for the renewable energy heating industry as well as SolarLogic’s development,” said SL’s CEO Fred Milder. “We’ve proven that the sophisticated control methods we’ve invented can be executed in software and embedded in a hardware system that is almost trivial for a heating contractor to install – and we’ve proven that it works in the field. Our next step is to streamline the product to make it more cost-effective for manufacturing, which we’ll accomplish after another financing round this winter. We plan to be on the market with the SLIC by the end of 2010.”
The SLIC was developed with funds from the City of Santa and private investors. SolarLogic’s other flagship product, a web-based design service named SLASH-D (SolarLogic Assisted Solar Heating Design,) will be unveiled in Spring, 2010.