The green era is in full swing these days, and whether you’ve been an early adaptor or lagging behind, you’ll be happy to know that as a brew customer, you may already be doing your part to save the planet. Though you likely won’t be bestowed any environmental awards for your Saturday night beer consumption, drinking your brew from an aluminum can is helping one Canadian company make the world a bit greener.
Cansolair has developed a solar heating unit made out of 240 recycled aluminum beer or pop cans called the Model RA 240 Solar Max. Here’s how it works: the unit is installed on any southeast, south, or southwest facing wall or roof of your home or office. Heat from the sun is absorbed into the unit, which filters the high volume air through a specially modified collector core. It is then circulated inside where the temperature can be controlled and maintained with only 15 minutes of sunlight per hour. The unit is designed to complement your existing heating system by replacing your daytime heating needs. So basically, when the sun is shining and the Cansolair panel heats up, it automatically comes on, and your current heating system will turn off enabling the Cansolair to supply free heat year-round during the heating season.
The patented Solar Max is similar to solar panels because both collect solar radiation from the sun and convert that energy into heat. However, photo voltaic solar panels come with a big price tag. A two kilowatt system that usually meets the needs of an energy efficient home would require a system costing between $16,000 - $20,000 before installation. The solar max is a fraction of the cost at $2,695 before installation; consumers get a much quicker return on their investment. Savings upwards of 20 percent plus on your annual heating bill have been the standard. Although that percentage could go up or down depending on where you live in Ontario and the amount of sunshine you receive annually, particularly in the winter.
Units have been sold all over Canada and the U.S, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Spain, and France.
Now demand for the product is coming in from the U.K., Portugal, Italy, Romania, Uruguay, Argentina, Columbia, Panama, and India.
The Solar Max makes a great green choice for home heating because it doesn’t deplete natural resources and makes use of recycled materials. As far as carbon footprint is concerned, it is estimated that each Consolair unit will eliminate the release of 33,000 lbs of pollutants annually from being released into the atmosphere through the use of fossil fuels. So the next time you kick back with a six-pack, give yourself a pat on the back and be sure to let everyone know you’re doing everything you can to fight global warming. You may very well have done the world a favour.