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.
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.