Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Enerworks?

Incorporated in 1998, Enerworks is a developer and manufacturer of clean, intelligent solar energy solutions for residential, commercial and industrial markets throughout North America and the Caribbean. Enerworks is a family owned business and works with the Queen’s University Solar Calorimetry Laboratory to develop innovative and cost-effective water heating solutions.

What do Enerworks products offer?

Instead of using traditional energy sources, Enerworks Solar Water Heating Systems use the sun’s energy to heat your water. Enerworks Solar Water Heating products provide environmentally clean, competitively priced energy solutions for a range of heating applications. Enerworks Systems:

• Cut water heating costs by 50% or more
• Reduce the impact of rising energy prices
• Offer cost-competitive and environmentally friendly green energy
• Offer a practical and inexpensive way for home and building owners to support sustainable, pollution free energy solutions
• Contribute to a healthier environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
• Are dependable
• Do not affect your hot water use
• Require minimal maintenance

The systems are available across North America and in the Caribbean through distributors and authorized dealers/installers. For dealer information and support in your area, please contact us using our Services Directory.

How much electricity does the Enerworks Solar Water Heating System produce?

None. However, the Enerworks System can displace over half of the electricity, natural gas, oil or propane you purchase from your utility company with free solar energy from the sun.

Will heating water with solar energy save me money?

Yes. Depending on the solar collector orientation, in southern Ontario and the northeastern United States, free solar energy will deliver annual savings of up to 60% on a typical household’s water-heating bill. In the southern United States and very sunny areas, annual utility savings of over 80% can be achieved.

How much does the System cost?

Enerworks distributes its Solar Water Heating System through builder channels, utilities and renewable energy dealers. A variety of options are available, depending on the heating demands, so it’s best to have the installed cost quoted by your dealer or installer based on the System chosen and the specifics of the installation site. Your local dealer can determine the installed cost, which is like buying electricity at 6¢ per kWh, based on the best solution for you. Residential customers may have the option of purchasing or leasing the System, while commercial customers may be able to purchase solar energy on a toll basis through third-party power purchase agreements.

How does the System work?

Solar energy, in the form of heat, is collected by HeatSafe and Premier Efficiency Collectors. The Enerworks Energy Station or Energy Terminal transfers the heat to your potable water. The Spectrum System works in all seasons, is freeze-protected and reduces dependence on your existing natural gas, electric, oil or propane water heater.

What are the benefits of a closed loop, premanufactured system vs. a site-built direct system?

1. Freeze protection. Even in locations where it “never freezes,” the ASHRAE weather files may list minimum air temperature extremes at only marginally above freezing as a 5-year occurrence, or even slightly below freezing as a one in 10-year occurrence. As anyone with experience in solar thermal can attest, “night sky radiation” effects bring collector temperatures down by a few degrees (3 to 5) below that of air temperature at night; it’s the reverse process of the one that allows the collectors to absorb solar heat during the day. The Florida Solar Energy Center, for example, lists freezing as the second cause for system failures in Florida, right after poor, sub-standard installs.

2. When using an inhibited heat transfer fluid in the collector loop, the collectors – and your investment – are protected from corrosion due to excess oxygen in water and also protected from bacterial growth due to sometimes lukewarm temperatures. The heat transfer fluid doesn’t just act as a freeze protector, but also as a corrosion and bacterial protection medium. The fluid that Enerworks recommends and supplies has additional high temperature resistance and doesn’t leave a film on the collector’s tubes – it has an extremely good track record in Europe and in our own past installs.

3. The Solar Energy Terminal has a modular design that incorporates most of the system’s components. It is self-contained rather than a number of parts in different areas on the floor or a wall and has passed electrical safety tests (UL certified electrical box) as well as a factory leak test. It features heat exchanger back-flush as well as collector side by-pass of the heat exchanger for “soft starts”, and it also allows the use of the same pump for pool heating. The PLC controller has a custom software that provides system status information, monitors hours of stagnation and even “exercises” the pumps when the unit is not in use for a length of time.

4. The Terminal reduces the amount of effort and labor at any given site, allowing installers to move on to future installs. Besides simply reducing labor, a pre-designed and pre-engineered unit lessens the amount of mistakes and “surprises” during the start-up of operations.

5. The Terminal has communications capabilities, and heat metering is an available option allowing the customer to actually measure the savings resulting from the system.