In Petaluma, California, the United States Coast Guard training facility has a 200,000 gallon pool. While trainees may have to rescue each other from sharks or play underwater cribbage–hey, I’ve never been through Coast Guard training–they don’t have to do it in cold water. The USCG keeps the pool at a comfortable 80 degrees. Maintaining 200,000 gallons of water at that temperature, though, takes a staggering amount of energy. That’s why the facility just recently installed a solar pool heating system. Solar pool heating uses solar thermal technology, an efficient and cost-effective heat transfer process.

Image Credit: SolarCraft

Image Credit: SolarCraft

The 3,456 solar collectors, installed by SolarCraft, will save this training facility thousands of dollars every year. Solar pool heating systems are low-maintenance and generally last for 20-30 years. The Coast Guard may need to replace the pool before that–but the collectors will heat a new pool just as readily as this one. The Coast Guard helps keep America safe; solar helps keep the Coast Guard warm.

Want to learn more about solar thermal technology and applications? Start with GetSolar’s intro guide.