The Solar Thermal Air Heating and Cooling Association (STA) was formed in 2008 by industry representatives covering sales, installation, manufacturing and development of Solar Thermal Air products and services. The association is incorporated within the state of Victoria but represents organisations from across Australia.
The association was formed with the objective of promoting to the public and government the benefits of utilising solar energy to assist space heating and cooling in residential and commerical dwellings.
The solar thermal air industry has operated commercially in Australia since 1999 and offers a range of products and technologies that have been developed both locally and overseas. Over this period STA products have been installed in over 10,000 homes throughout Australia. The industry continues to grow, is financially self-supporting and provides employment for sales, marketing, trades (plumbing & electrical), manufacturing & assembly, and engineering development.
Prior to the recent commercial activity, the technology had been researched at CSIRO during the 1980's and more recently several patents have also been awarded to Australian inventions in this field.
Globally, the International Energy Agency estimates that over 1.7 million square meters of solar air collectors have been installed worldwide for both residential and commercial applications, with Switzerland, Japan and Canada leading the total installation capacity.
Space heating accounts for a significant proportion of energy usage and GHG emissions for Australian homes. Combined with the relative simplicity of the concept behind the technology and the ability to retrofit to most existing homes, Solar Thermal Air is an attractive part of the solution for the reduction of energy costs and GHG emissions.