Solar Air Heating Systems


Use solar energy to improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs in new or existing buildings

Our MatrixAir™ products are characterized by an aesthetic look that integrates with most building facades and roofs, not to mention their high 70-90% operating efficiencies that yield very competitive returns on their incremental investment. Solar air heating is particularly attractive in cold climates where snow naturally enhances performance by about 40% due to its reflectance of sunlight towards the absorber.

Architecturally versatile, our products can be styled, shaped, and designed in a variety of colors to augment the building envelope, provide improved fresh air ventilation and generate on-site energy to facilitate any level of LEED® certification with up to 10 LEED® points (NC & CI: EA c-1, c-2/MR c-4) where appropriate. BOMA BESt® (Building Environmental Standards) was launched in 2005 by BOMA (Building Operators and Managers Association) Canada to address an industry need for practical standards for energy and environmental performance of existing buildings.  MatrixAir™ systems facilitate achievement in any of the four levels of BOMA BESt® certification for offices, light industrial buildings, shopping centres, multi-unit residential buildings (MURB) and health care facilities earning points for Renewable Energy and Envelope within the Energy Assessment Section, and Indoor Air Quality in the Indoor Environment Assessment Section.

Fresh Air Standards

ASHRAE Standard 62.1 (Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality) is the basis for the International Mechanical Code (IMC), and is a prerequisite for the LEED® Green Building Rating System. ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2013 (Tables reduces the previous minimum requirement of 15 CFM of outdoor air per person (20 CFM/person in office spaces) to 10 CFM per classroom person and 5 CFM per office occupant. ASHRAE standard 90.1 (Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings) is a standard that provides minimum requirements for energy efficient designs for buildings except for low-rise residential buildings. Our solar air heating systems assist building designers, owners and managers achieve these objectives.

Some design considerations

Low solar collector flow rates and exterior ambient wind play a significant role in the performance that can be expected from any transpired solar air heating collector. For planning purposes we suggest that designers divide the buildings’’ fresh air requirements (in CFM) by a factor of five (5) to know approximately the area of collector that is required. For example, a 10,000 CFM fresh air heating requirement would typically need about 2,000 ft2 of MatrixAir™ cladding. Where façade space, or local bylaws, limit the amount of metal cladding that may be used, this factor may increase to seven (7) for improved ROI however the average delivered air temperature will decrease slightly and static pressure imparted on the HVAC system may increase from 0.5 to 0.75” WG. The most recent addition to our product ;line is a roof mounted product called the “Delta” a modular, roof-mounted solar air heating system where southerly, east or west facing facades are simply not available. Each ten foot module will deliver 250 CFM of preheated fresh air typically providing annual energy savings of 1100 kWh annually. In general our Delta modules yield about 4 CFM for every square foot of available roof area. Conatct us to know more about the design parameters specific to your location and application.

Commercial Facilities

Commercial facilities, solar air heating

Indoor public spaces such as retail operations require a certain percentage of outdoor ventilation air and upwards of 60% of the energy used in commercial spaces alone in North America is devoted to space heating.

Indoor air quality is a growing concern for us all. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) leads to headaches, fatigue, respiratory-related problems, an inability to concentrate making for less productive, uncomfortable employees and restless, unhappy customers. MatrixAir® solar air heating systems assist you in obtaining the best solution to improve your IAQ and meet the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62-2001-2013 all while reducing building maintenance and energy costs.

Educational Facilities

Educational facilities, solar air heating

Adequate fresh air and indoor air quality in schools is often a problem in cold climates.   MatrixAir™ solar air heating is highly efficient and very cowst effective means of providing heating and low cost fresh air ventilation in new or existing schools in which ASHRAE 62.1-2013 recommends at least 10 CFM per person.  Our systems blend well architecturally and seamlessly with new or existing exterior facades and their HVAC systems.

MatrixAir™ for New Buildings

Institutional buildings, solar air heating projects

Hospitals demand vast amounts of fresh air. Having used our wall-mounted, transpired collectors  on other projects, Favreau & Blais Architect specified a MatrixAir™ solar fresh air heating system for one section of this newly renovated hospital.

Laboratoire de Pathology

Thermal heating accounts for over 30% of the CO2 emissions in North America, making it one of our largest single sources of GHG. According to the C.D. Howe Institute’s February 2009 report entitled Going Green For Less: Cost-Effective Alternative Energy Sources, “…the lowest cost option possible to governments is from unglazed solar air heating technologies…”. Our solar air heating systems very cost effectively heat ventilation and indoor air, which also happens to be the largest – but typically overlooked - usage of energy in our climate. As fuel prices continue to increase, this comment by the C.D. Howe Institute is even more relevant. MatrixAir™ solar air heating systems enable architects, engineers of government buildings to design highly cost effective fresh air heating solutions.

Gatineau firehall

Fire halls and police stations operate continuously, demanding fresh air ventilation for the removal of CO and NOX from their apparatus bays and to ventilate their kitchen and other common areas. Solar energy cost efficiently complements these buildings mechanical and natural ventilation in a sustainable manner.

Military solar air heating projects

Canada’s Land Force Command (LFC), has practiced formal environmental management since 1992 and has tasked itself to become “an environmental leader among Federal organizations and allied armies, by providing a healthy and sustainable environment in support of operations by the year 2018. The use of ‘green’ technologies to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in its buildings has become a priority. To date, MatrixAir™ systems are providing solar heated fresh air to various Canadian military resulting in more than 6975 GJ in annual energy savings

Industrial solar air heating projects

Thermal heating accounts for over 30% of the CO2 emissions in Canada, making it one of our largest single sources of GHG.  In April 2014, BEAM Engineering, a Boston based energy consulting firm, corroborated what we already know that, “…solar (air) heating is the most efficient renewable technology for generating thermal heat and costs are as low as $0.06 USD/kWh…”  Suffice it to say, our solar air heating systems very cost effectively preheat ventilation and make-up air and air used in industrial processes, which also happens to be the largest – but typically overlooked - usage of energy in our northern climate.

MatrixAir™ Retrofit

High rise buildings comprise 10% of all residences in Canada and 44% of their energy goes to space heating.  According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, on average, these buildings consume 220 kWh/m2 vs 175 kWh/m2 for single family homes despite their considerably smaller exposed surface area.

Much of the energy used in space heating is lost due to thermal bridging, poor insulation of the building envelope, insufficient air tightness and ventilation systems lacking in any form of heat recovery.   ASHRAE 90.1-2013 is the Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings and wall-mounted solar air heating systems help achieve this standard leading to lower operating cost, better indoor air quality, lower maintenance, lower green house gas emissions and an enhance occupant satisfaction.

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund’s TowerWise® program offers an Energy Savings Performance Agreement that will fund tower retrofit. Not only can it cover up to 100% of the costs, they also guarantee that your payments will not exceed your verified energy savings. See for details.


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