Saturday, July 21, 2012
The power of the Sun- taken a step further
With the summer heating up a lot in recent days (we are hitting the 100s now regularly), the solar water heater is reaching the tank's hot water capacity long before the day is over. The collector fluid (glycol) reaches temperatures around 270 degrees while we have a water temperature of about 130 degrees inside the tank. As a matter of fact, the pump is shutting off at 1.30 and the glycol drains back into the expansion tank to prevent the system from overheating. See the graphic above with the solar WH performance chart. The energy of the sun that is hitting the collector after that is not being used at all. In order to make use of that energy, a steam generator would have to be connected to the tank and the hot water could then contribute to generate electricity. This is definitely something to think about for future solar systems.