Among the many clever uses for solar panels these days, the Ridge Vent System by Greenward may be one of the most ingenious. This hot water system for a standard shingled roof uses the heat that naturally accumulates in the attic of your home to essentially turn your entire roof into a solar collector.
As the sun beats down on the dark grey shingles of your roof, the heat rises and flows out through the ridge vent around a series of PEX plastic tubes. located along the ridge line. This heats up an ethylene glycol and water mixture that is then pumped downstairs to a heat exchanger in the basement, preheating the water before it gets to the water heater. The existing hot water heater only fires up when needed.
According to the company, the average attic temperature is 120 degrees F., which means the Greenward Ridge Vent System has the power to reduce household energy consumption by just over 12 million BTU’s a year and reduce CO2 emissions by just over 1,400 pounds annually.
Ridge Vent System [via Treehugger]