Forum: The Great Solar Thermal Debate

Jul 13, 2016
9:00 am - 10:45 am

Forum: The Great Solar Thermal Debate

The full potential of solar thermal energy is yet to be realized – it is everywhere, in forms ranging from the energy carried by ocean currents to latent heat released from melting ice, or leveraged to great effect using a heat pump.  Learn how to harness these “unconventional” sources for the most efficient renewable energy available.

Organizer: Ron Gehl



baker.andyAndy Baker

Andy is a registered professional engineer in Alaska and owner of YourCleanEnergy consulting in Anchorage. He has significant experience in the financial evaluation and design of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. He has lived and worked in Alaska since 1998 and has focused for the past twelve years on identifying and designing cost effective renewable energy systems for commercial, municipal, and community clients. He has been the organizer of the annual Anchorage Solar Tour from 2009 thru 2016.

Andy is a graduate in environmental engineering from Penn State University and worked previously as a project engineer for Buchart-Horn in Pennsylvania; Black & Veatch in San Diego, Lusaka, and Boston; and for HDR Alaska. Andy’s work focus since 2009 has been on ocean source heat pumps systems for large facilities, and for ocean source district heating in coastal Alaska. He has worked with the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward for the past seven years to evaluate, design and monitor a large sea water heat pump system that has now effectively replaced 98% of local fossil fuel use with ocean source heat pumps. His design for this demonstration project features conventional heat pump systems using synthetic (R-134a); and trans-critical heat pumps using natural refrigerant (R-744 or CO2).


skinner.petePeter Skinner

Mr. Skinner, owner and founder of Earth Environmental Group, LLC. (E2G Solar), designs, installs, repairs, researches and teaches about residential and commercial solar thermal systems. These systems have been integrated with existing or new space, hot water and pool heating systems in New York and neighboring states. Most recently, he designed and is installing 26 SHW systems at a NetZero apartment complex not far from Schenectady. He is working on designs for SHW/heat pump/geo exchange hybrids for the next netZero project nearby. Mr. Skinner worked for the NYS Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau supervising a team of scientists who participated in a wide array of environmental litigation, legislation and policy development. Mr. Skinner is a NYS registered professional engineer and has worked as an engineer, educator and legislative and policy advocate in the environmental field for the past 46 years.