How it Works
A solar thermal system typically consists of 3 components: solar collector(s), storage tank, and pump system (with or without heat exchanger).
The solar collector operation is quite simple:
- Solar thermal energy (heat) is absorbed by the collector.
- Heat pipes conduct the heat from within the collector up to the header.
- A freeze resistant glycol-water mixture is pumped through the solar collector and is heated 9-18 degrees F on each pass through. The heated mixture then passes through a heat exchanger, either on the storage tank or the pumping system, which dissipates the heat from the glycol-water mixture to the water in the storage tank.
The water in the storage tank is heated throughout the day and supplies pre-heated water (instead of cold tap water) to your hot water heater. The idea is that pre-heated water supplied to your existing hot water heater is hot enough not to require the heating element in the water heater to turn on (saving you money on energy cost).
Two different types of solar collectors are available, flat plate collectors or evacuated tube collectors. Each type has its own advantages and, in many cases, either type may be suitable for the same application. Green Point will help you assess your site and needs to determine the most appropriate collector type for your application.
Flat Plate Collectors
Green Point sells and installs flat plate collectors manufactured by Techno-Solis. These collectors are ideal for heating domestic hot water or solar pool heating with some of the best efficiency ratings in the industry. They are also backed by an excellent 10 year warranty. They are extremely efficient for domestic hot water and pool heating scenarios and typically are cheaper than evacuated tube applications. Techno-Solis collectors are available in 4’x10’, 4’x8’, 4’x7’, 4’x6.5’, 3’x8’, and 3’x7’ sizes. Each square foot of collector will heat about 2 gallons of water, so a 4’x10’ collector should heat about 80 gallons of water on a sunny day.
Evacuated Tube Collectors
Green Point is also proud to sell and install evacuated tube solar collectors manufactured by Apricus. Evacuated tubes offer superior insulating benefits to flat plate collectors due to the vacuum inside each tube. The vacuum insulates and traps the thermal energy once it has been captured inside the collector, preventing the heat from escaping, even during winter months. This explains how the temperature inside the tube can be 150 degrees F and still cold to the touch on the outside. Advantages to evacuated tube water heaters include their superior performance in cold temperatures and cloudy and windy conditions as well as less sensitivity to sun angle and orientation. They are also especially suitable for applications that require higher temperatures.
Solar collectors come in sets of 10, 20, 22, or 30 tubes. Collectors can be combined as well to increase the size. A general rule of thumb is that each tube will typically heat about 2 gallons of water a day. So, a 30 tube collector should heat about 60 gallons of water per day. Your hot water usage will determine how large a collector will be necessary for your application.
Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or by filling out the form on our Contact Us page with any questions or pricing estimate requests.
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