What Are Various Types Of Solar Collectors And Solar Storage Tanks?

In a solar water heater system, a solar collector and solar storage tank arethe two major components. Let’s take look at various types of storage tanks –

Two tank solar hot water system: In this system the water is heated by the solar collector and then stored in a solar preheat tank. This tank is located near a backup water heater. When hot water taps are opened the household water pushes the hot water from the storage tank into the backup water heater. During the summer seasons, the solar preheated water usually remains above 120°F. The backup water heater does not need to get activated at all. But in the winter, when the temperature of the solar preheated water typically ranges from 60°F to 100°F, the backup heater comes on to raise its temperature to 120°F. The energy cost for this standby heater could be 15% to 20% of the total energy used for water heating.

Single tank system: In this both the solar collector and a conventional water heater work to heat a single tank of water. A 240-volt electric heating element is located at the top of the tank to heat water in the upper half. The water at the bottom part is heated by the solar collectors. In a single-tank system, the solar collectors can heat water well above the electric element in warmer months.

There are three types of solar collectors are used for residential applications:

Flat-plate collector

These are of two types -glazed and unglazed flat plate collectors. The former has a weatherproof box inside which there is a dark a bsorberplate. This plate is present under one or more glass or plastic covers. The unglazed collector has a dark absorbed plate made of metal or polymer. These do not have any protective covering and enclosure.

Integral collector-storage systems

These are also known as batch systems. These are comprised of one or more black tanks or tubes in an insulated and glazed box. Cold water is first heated by the solar collector and then moves to the conventional backup water heater. These work best in moderateclimates. Inextremeclimates, the tubes can freeze.

Evacuated-tube solar collectors

They have parallel rows of transparent glass tubes. Each tube comprises of a glass outer tube and metal absorber tube attached to a fin. The sun’s energy is absorbed by fin's coating but prevents radiative heat loss. These are more suited for commercial purposes.





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