Green Scene: Solar panels let the sun shine in
DeKalb residents Ralph and Helen Hannon were ahead of the times when they installed solar panels on their home nearly 30 years ago.
“We realized the importance of solar energy and this was just something we wanted to do,” said Ralph Hannon, a retired science professor from Kishwaukee College. Hannon said that the substantial decrease in the home’s energy consumption did not go unnoticed. Within three months of installing their new solar thermal system, a ComEd representative was at the door to ask about their reduced draw on the grid and put in a new meter.
Hannon describes the system as simple, yet effective. The passive heating system utilizes three solar panels, duct work, and outlets and air ducts throughout the house. A major part of the energy savings is due to adding a 100-gallon insulated water storage tank heated by the solar panels to about 140 degrees. This water can then be used for showering or any other hot-water needs.
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