Rooftop Solar Thermal Systems: How Do GW Residence Halls Produce Hot Water?

It’s important to appreciate the little things in life: shelter, food, water…  But while we may appreciate all of these things, how much do people actually know about the roofs over their heads and the water from their sinks and shower heads?

Over the summer a local company, Skyline Innovations, teamed up with GW and installed three solar thermal systems on the roofs of Ivory Tower, Building JJ and the residence hall at 1959 E Street.

Courtesy of the George Washington University

Jason and I spoke to Sophie Waskow from GW’s Office of Sustainability and Zach Axelrod, the CEO of Skyline and got some more information about the water a good portion of GW student’s use when they take showers and do their laundry.  The process developed by the team at Skyline, described in the diagram below, makes it so that the water heater that would typical be of use to obtain hot water doesn’t even need to be turned on!

Courtesy of GW Today

Sophie took us inside the mechanical room in 1959 E Street where the water is stored in the Skyline tanks and heated for hot water use.  Check out the clip below for a sneak peak:

I don’t live in any of the buildings that have these systems but I know some people that do.  I’m interested to know where they think they get their hot water from.  Being able to walk through these systems gave me a whole different perspective of how global mitigation and adaptation can literally fit into our daily routines.

By Samantha Stone @samjunestone


One thought on “Rooftop Solar Thermal Systems: How Do GW Residence Halls Produce Hot Water?

  1. Awesome work, Sam. You have really made progress in your blogging – there is a clear story with your own perspective interwoven. I can see the fruits of your & Jason’s collaboration, which came together nicely. Love the video. Maybe put a couple more links towards the end.


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