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Solar Water Heating Systems

Shankar Singh Dhami

Natural Circulation Systems
Forced Circulation Systems
SWHs in low atmospheric temperature regions
Building heating:
 The f- chart Method for Air and Water Systems,
 Fundamentals of Building heating using SWH
 Heating System Simulation,
 Architectural Considerations and Calculation of
heating Loads
Typical solar water heaters in

Vacuum tube SWH

Flat plate SWH 3

Natural Circulation Systems (Thermo Siphon)

Hot Water Storage with insulation

hot water

Heat Thermostat
t System Electric
auxiliary heater

Cold Water Supply

Working Principle of SWH
Storage Tank Hot
Hot water Water
outlet from Outlet 3

Collector for Use



Collector Supply

1 Temperature
Cold water
inlet in
Collector Principle of
Cold (Dense fluid) Thermosyphon flow
Hot (Less dense
expanded fluid) 7
Forced Circulation Systems
Heat Storage with insulation
connection to
heat hot water tap
air release thermostat

(blockable) backup heater

cold water supply

release power
(8 atm) supply
control unit
Water freezes below 0oc
Antifreeze Ethylene Glycol
with in the closed circuit
 ETC used
 Heat Tube Solar Collector

• Indirect Heating System

• Suitable for freeze prone area without any
• High efficient system
• Can be used for high pressure (forced
convection ) system as well
Flat-plate collectors

Insulation: Fiber Glass,

Rockwool, Vacuum
Absorber: Aluminum,
Casing: GI sheet, Aluminum

Coatings: Normal Matt Black Paint,

Selective coatings: black chrome,
black nickel, and aluminum oxide
with nickel
Forced-flow versus natural circulation SHW
forced flow systems
+ better performance
+ can be installed in large systems
+ allows independent location of collector and hot water tank
– requires more components
– needs electrical energy for pumping and control
– is more expensive

natural circulation (thermosiphon)

+ simple and require less components
+ work without active control equipment
+ cheaper
– not suitable for large systems
– less efficient
– storage tank must be located above the collectors
Open- versus closed-loop SHW systems
Closed loop
+ better performance – avoids air bubbles
+ Prevents siltation of the collectors
+ allows use of antifreeze
– Some temperature loss
– needs significantly more components
– more expensive
– more difficult to manufacture

Open loop
+ simple and require less components
+ Requires less tecnical skill
+ Cheaper and less sensitive to flaws
– not suitable for frost area
– not suitable for poor quality water
 Heat for comfort in building can be provided
from solar energy similar to Solar Heaters
 Two most common heat transfer fluids are
water( or water and antifreeze mixtures) and air.
 The basic components are the collector, storage
unit, distributor and load (i.e., the house or
building to be heated)
 Active Solar Heating and Passive Solar Heating
 The term solar house include the integral part of
the building elements that admit, absorb, store
and release solar energy and thus reduce the
needs for auxiliary energy for comfort heating.
 If solar energy is available and heat is not needed in
the building, energy gain from the collector is added
to storage.
 If solar energy is available and heat is needed in the
building, energy gain from the collector is used to
supply the building need.
 If solar energy is not available and heat is needed in
the building, and the storage unit has stored energy in
it, the stored energy is used to supply the building
 If solar energy is not available, heat is needed in the
building, and the storage unit has been depleted,
auxiliary energy is used to supply the building need.
Design parameters

Using air, the problem of freezing and boiling in the

collectors are eliminated and corrosion problems are reduced
Design parameters
 The f- chart method is used for estimating the annual thermal
performance of active heating systems for buildings(using either
liquid or air) where the minimum temperature of energy delivery is
near 20oc.
 The purpose of the method is to calculate f , the fraction of the hot
water load (total heating load) that is provided by the solar energy
for a given solar heating system (solar fraction). Once f is
calculated, the amount of renewable energy that displaces
conventional energy for water heating can be determined.
 The method enables the calculation of the monthly amount of
energy delivered by hot water systems with storage, given monthly
values of incident solar radiation, ambient temperature and load.
 The Primary Design variable is collector area; secondary
variables are collector type, storage capacity, fluid flow rates
and load and collector heat exchange sizes.
 The method is the correlation of the results of many
hundreds of thermal performance simulations of solar
heating systems.
 f is the function of two dimensionless parameters i.e. one is
related to the ratio of collector losses to heating loads, and
the other is related to the ratio of absorbed solar radiation to
heating loads.
 f charts have been developed for three standard system
configuration, liquid and air systems for space (and hot
water) heating and systems for service hot water only.
Two dimensionless groups X and Y are defined as:
where ,
Ac = collector area,
F’R = modified collector heat removal factor,
UL = collector overall loss cœfficient,
Tref = an empirical reference temperature equal to 100°C,
Ta = monthly average ambient temperature,
L = monthly total heating load,
τα = collector’s monthly average transmittance - absorptance product,
HT = monthly average daily radiation incident on the collector surface
per unit area, and
N = number of days in the month.
The fraction f of the monthly total load supplied by the solar water
heating system is given as a function of X and Y as:
For Liquid System

For Air System

The surface described by above equation is fairly smooth, so

extrapolation should not be a problem. If the formula predicts a
value of f less than 0, a value of 0 is used; if f is greater than 1, a
value of 1 is used.
For Liquid System For Air System

f-Chart Correlation.
Standard liquid system configuration Standard air system configuration

Ranges of Design Parameters used in Developing the f- charts for

a. Liquid Systems b. Air Systems
The implicit assumptions of f-chart are
 Systems are well built
 Flow distribution to collectors is uniform,
 flow rates are as assumed,
 system configurations are close to those for which the
correlations were developed, and
 Control strategies used are nearly those assumed in the f-
chart development.
Three steps to check the results from f-chart
 Comparison with detailed simulation in many locations
 Laboratory measurements on experimental systems have
also been compared to f-chart
 Measurements on operating systems in the field also have
been used for comparison.
 Active solar heating system challenges to architectural design of buildings. Any
building design must be energy conserving, as solar energy and the fuels with
which it competes will be expensive.
 Economics studies of active system solar heating indicated that the optimum
fractions of total annual loads ranges from zero to over three-fourths.
 For some locations the architect must design into the building collector areas in
the range up to approximately one-half of the floor area of the house (depending
on the collector, the climate and the degree of insulation in the building)
 The basic problem faced by the architects and engineers is to integrate the
collectors into the building design in such a way that thermal performance is
satisfactory and the structure is aesthetically satisfying
 Collector should be oriented with the designed slope and azimuthal angle.
 Vertical collectors may be used for high latitudes to answer the problems of
integration of collectors into the buildings and avoiding snow accumulation
 Space must be provided in the structure for energy storage units, piping and
ducts, controls, auxiliaries and all associated equipment.
Load calculation is necessary for the service hot water (with or without storage)
models. Hot water use estimates are provided for service hot water systems.
No estimate of hot water use is done for aquaculture, industrial or “other”
The actual load is calculated as the energy required to heat up mains water to the
specified hot water temperature. If Vl is the required amount of water and Th is the
required hot water temperature, both specified by the user, then the energy required
Qload is expressed as:

Cp = heat capacitance of water (4,200 ( J/kg)/ºC),
ρ = density (1 kg/L), and
Tc = cold (mains) water temperature.
Qload is prorated by the number of days the system is used per week.
The flow passages
conduct the working fluid
through it.

In water heating collector,

cold water is let in, from
the bottom of collector
and hot water exits from
the top end.
Thank you
for your kind attention!