A new industrial process solar water heating system at a Gatorade beverage factory in Phoenix produces more than one million kilowatt hours of heat energy per year. Each of the 85, 10.5 m² solar collectors manufactured by OEKOTECH has exceeded the estimated output of 1200 kWh/year. Pleased with the performance of the solar water heating system installed by SOLID in 2008, Gatorade decided to triple the size of the system in December 2010.
The solar collectors preheat large amounts of water used in the beverage making process to a desired temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The system also includes a 10,000 gallon buffer tank for storage. Arizona’s excellent solar resources and the relatively low end temperature needed help to maximize the efficiency of the solar collectors.
The food and beverage industry represent a substantial untapped market for solar industrial process heating. Onsite systems such as this one provide energy security and savings. The installation of the system spanned three months from start to finish. The system is expected to pay for itself in less than 5 years.