Solar home systems accumulate energy of the Sun using solar collectors. It’s free, first of all pure energy with zero carbon dioxide emissions. Collectors provide heat a fluid that can be used to heat water for domestic use, for heating swimming pools and possibly in floor heating. A typical solar home system is composed of:
- Solar collectors (panels)
- Solar accumulative boiler
- Special solar pump
- Automatic equipment
- Expansion vessel
- Pipe system
Consumer needs and characteristics of the object directly affect the composition of the system. The working principle of the solar system:
- A special layer of the solar panels absorbs solar energy and transfers it to the working fluid;
- Heated fluid is driven by the circulation pump;
- The liquid flows through a pipe system to the solar boiler (or any other hot water tank);
- Automation equipment control valves and adjusts the activity of the solar circuit in the solar home system.
In the following text will be described each part the solar home system:
A solar collector (solar panel)
The collector is a fundamental part of every solar system. Emitted solar energy passes through the transparent surface of the collector and turns into thermal energy. The heat is transferred to the appropriate heat exchanger – solar working medium (mixture of water and glycol).
The most important parts of the solar collectors are:
- Housing with appropriate thermal insulation
- The absorption panels – used for complete absorption of thermal (IR) solar radiation
- Protective part – made of ordinary window or polymeric materials
The collectors come in two basic varieties: plate solar collectors and vacuum collectors. Read more All information About Solar Panels For Home Heating.
Influence of orientation and inclination of the collector to energy transfer
Solar home installations are usually placed on the south side at an angle of 30° to 45° from the horizontal plane. If the installation can’t be directed to the south, then the tilt angle should be less. Steeper collectors have the advantage of equal energy utilization throughout the year.
The boiler is a part of the solar home system which is used for the circulation of the working fluid within the system. Two basic variants of the boiler are:
- Simple – just for the preparation and consumption of hot water
- The combined – that is composed of two boiler
In both cases, the heater must be well insulated. Insulation reduces heat loss to a minimum.
Solar installation with pump is a central part of the whole solar system because it allows the flow of the working fluid. In other words, it takes care of by external weather conditions, such as the need for heat, etc.
Expansion vessel must be properly dimensioned so that it can accommodate the expansion of the solar fluid due to high temperature. Expansion vessel has a 0.5 bar pressure higher than the static system pressure, mainly around the three bars.
Solar control (Automation)
Automation controls the water circulation pump. It also can turn on heating pumps with installation, a toggle valve, or other elements of the solar home system (depending on the type of installation).