Wilmington, North Carolina – A U.S.-based company has installed its first solar car wash system at Skogies Car Washes in British Columbia.

RCI Solar, a subsidiary of Global Earth Energy, supplied the solar system.

The system uses a solar-powered water heating system to increase the temperature during the soap cycle to better clean each vehicle as it passes through. The system requires less water and reduces the amount of chemicals required.

RCI said that hot water has a degreasing effect that reduces chemical use by over 50 per cent. The cost of increasing the heat of the water from four degrees Celsius (40F), the temperature at which it is delivered by the utility company, to an average of 32C (90F) to 48C (120F), has dropped by a minimum of 60 per cent. The solar system maintains an average of 21C (70F) on a typical winter day.

The solar loop is also used for radiant floor heating at the entrance and exit of the wash bay, preventing ice buildup and increasing safety. Skogies said it will consider a second phase that will use the hot water to heat the building and provide water in the customer washrooms.

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