Mr Mark Withers, Victoria, Australia
"To whom it may concern
RE: Q Solar ARC2 Air Heaters
I have recently owner build my 280 m2 home in Inverloch, Victoria. This is a climate that requires predominately heating rather than cooling for a great portion of the year. Along with passive solar design, double glazing and high insulation levels, I incorporated 2 QSolar ARC2 air heaters into the design. I purchased these direct from QSolar and have no financial or other interest in the company itself. I purchased 3 units, 2 for my home and one which is now in a test bed situation in a local hospital/nursing home.
We have been operating the 2 heaters in my home for several months over winter in 2011 and found the 2 heaters to be more than adequate to heat our property on sunny days. 2 or 3 hours of sun is sufficient to raise the temperature of the house 5 degrees to 22-23 degrees Celsius and the good design and insulation will maintain a comfortable house overnight. The system operates based on the ambient light level so it turns on when sunny and off when overcast.
The simple robust design and mounting makes it unobtrusive on the wall of the house with people asking about our ‘black windows’. There are other products on the market that are similar but I selected Q Solar for the price and the design that allows the internal air to be reheated. Most other product rely on fresh air at the intake so the heating effect in winter in victoria is less than the Q Soalr product. Australian houses generally have sufficient air changes and other designs introduced more cold air into the system where as the QSolar system reheated the air already in the house. We have had sunny winter days where the C-Bus control system has turned off the heaters because the house is above 23 degrees.
I found Dorin at Q Solar easy to deal with and very technically competent when dealing with the product. It becomes very clear that he knows his product and its abilities. Q Solar may need help to further develop in the marketing area if they wish to get the product further penetration in the domestic market in Victoria. The product was packed and delivered safely to my property but this was after a deal of work on Dorin’s part. Transport may need to be better sorted for future interstate deliveries. A local supply and fit model using someone such as Jim’s Handymen may be an option for further sales as many homeowners like the complete solution to be offered. The price for this partnership could be worthwhile in sales in urban areas of the country.
Solar air heaters have increased in number and type over the last few years and the ever increasing energy costs will further this use over the coming decade. I believe the companies that will do best are the ones that can offer product to people such as myself who are willing to self-fit them plus being able to offer a full service, supply and fit, that people can sign up for in such places as home shows. I also see a commercial market for the product offered by Q Solar but this is a harder market to tap but this will become easier as data of the energy input and the life of the equipment becomes known to builders and architects.
The technology is adaptable to a large percentage of both new and existing housing stock in Australia. Short term results of the unit in the Nursing home test show a July energy input of 10 kWh for a single unit in a north facing location. This equates to about a 3 year payback which is better than solar hot water."
Southern H. S.
Mr. Mamo Cristian, Eforie Sud, Eastern Europe
“I am the beneficiary of a solar air heater made by the Australian company Q Solar. Its area is 6 m2, installed vertically towards the South. It gives good results in the cold season (September-April). During sunny days it heats a space of 30m2 without needing other energy source. The difference of temperature between the inside and the outside is more than 10 degrees Celsius.
The air temperature at the outlet of the solar air heater is of 30-70 degrees Celsius, depending on the season, angle of the sun, nebulosity. I intend to extend the Q Solar heaters because they are very reliable, do not require maintenance and I make important savings.”
Mr Alan Scott, Grow Pty Ltd Brisbane, Australia
To Whom It May Concern:
Q Solar Pty Ltd installed a 307m2 solar collector for our drier of vegetable material to supplement a gas burner. Our experience has been:
- Q Solar delivered the solar collector within the contractual timeframe and technical specifications (rise in air temperature, power of the solar air heater).
- The predictions made in winter about the summertime performance were confirmed.
- The solar collector supplied by Q Solar increases the temperature of the inlet air to our dryer by approximately 200C during winter and by approximately 350’C during summer.
- Using the solar collector has given us savings of approximately 50% of gas costs.
- The solar collector has been reliable and has not produced any downtime for our dryer.
- The after sales support has been positive.
- It is the intention of our company to acquire another Q Solar heater to upgrade the air dryer to a 24 hour per day Q Solar system to eliminate, if possible, complete gas usage while providing a more flexible temperature drying band.
Interview by the Australian Technology Showcase with Dr Patrick Glynn of C.S.I.R.O (the Commonwealth Science for Industry Research Organisation of the Australian Government)
What is your field of expertise? Electrical Engineering / Thermodynamics
What is your current role in your organisation? Senior Research Scientist / Project Leader
How long have you and/or your organisation known Q Solar? Approximately 6 Years
Were you or your organisation involved in the development of the Q Solar technology? No
Are you or your organisation a licensee of the technology? No
Do you or your organisation have any financial interest in Q Solar or its technology? No
Do you believe that this is an innovative technology? Yes
What advantages does this technology have over other solutions? Lower cost and higher efficiency
Please specify any unique features of the technology that you have identified. Simplicity of installation and low cost
Do you believe that this technology is scientifically credible? Have you tested the technology’s effectiveness? Yes. CSIRO carried out a review of the Q Solar technology
Are you satisfied that this technology has a sound scientific basis? Yes. Using direct solar energy for low temperature air mass heating is both credible and novel in its low installation cost and lack of maintenance.
In your experience, does the Q Solar technology achieve all that the applicant claims it does? Yes
How great is the commercial potential for this technology? What potential applications do you see for this technology? Any process that requires heated air mass flow will benefit from this technology, this will include any building requiring heating, most process engineering, power generators, smelting etc.
How great is the market for these applications and how have you estimated it? The potential market is very large on an Australian and worldwide basis.
What, in your view, does the applicant need to do to ensure that this technology achieves its commercial potential? Stay in business until conditions will become favorable. This technology will be the first used to reduce CO2 as it is both cheap and easily retrofitted to existing plant.
What is your view of the people behind the technology? Has your experience of working with Q Solar been positive? Very positive, Dorin has an in depth knowledge of low temperature thermodynamics and gas flow and also of the market sector he is addressing with this technology.
Do you believe that Q Solar has the right mix of technical/ business/ marketing skills to exploit this technology? I have known Dorin Preda for the last six years and have been very impressed with his abilities as a researcher and developer of his technology. Also his understanding of the market for his products. I have had less exposure to the business side of Q Solar but in my experience if you understand the technology and the market for that technology the business side will grow with the market for your products.
Mr Trevor Berrill, Brisbane Renewable Energy Centre
"Q Solar has an innovative technology, with good efficiency. The measurement method was adequate."