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Power up with a solar parking lot

August 9, 2000
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Solar Combustion Air is a patented method that utilizes solar energy for preheating air to a natural gas burner. It can be used with a hot water heater, but more significantly, it can preheat air to a coal-burning power plant.

The system’s solar collectors concentrate sunlight to produce hot air, which is compressed and then blown beneath a special pavement, similar to a typical parking lot. Underneath the parking lot is a network of pipes that transport the hot, compressed air to the firebox of a power plant. Since the pipes are underground and insulated, they trap the heat and provide efficient transfer.

Because air is used instead of more expensive heat transfer fluids, the cost of heat transfer is minimal, states inventor Martin Nix. Also, it can help cut emissions of pollution and carbon dioxide in half, he proclaims.

For more information, contact Nix at solarsh@eskimo.com (e-mail).

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