14 June 2002
System Selection. If one or more systems show a positive LCC savings, the
system with the highest LCC savings must be designed. In the case of two systems
LCC savings having approximately equal values, the system with the highest savings-
to-investment ratio (SIR) should be chosen for detailed design. If no system shows a
positive LCC savings, an active solar energy system is not to be considered for the
Summary. Examination of many feasibility studies shows that the service
water preheating application is typically the most cost-effective alternative. Space
heating by use of solar energy is best accomplished by passive solar building design.
Solar cooling of any form is seldom cost-effective, largely due to prohibitive equipment
and M&R costs.
. One of the biggest obstacles
to using solar hot water technologies
often the inability to obtain the funding for the initial capital costs, even though a life-
cycle cost analysis might show that the investment would pay for itself several times
over. Funding for energy projects in general, and renewable energy projects in
particular, has been consistently reduced over the last several years. There are still
opportunities for funding these projects through the Department of Energy's (DOE)
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), the US Army Engineering Center,
Huntsville's Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) program, or the
Department of Defense's (DOD) Model Utility Agreement. With the last two funding
mechanisms, a third party contractor or the local utility company provides the funding
for installing the solar hot water systems, and is paid back the investment through the
energy savings, over the term of the contract agreement.