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Additional System Components


Development and Use

This presentation was developed as a result of a partnership with (list organizations) and (list instructors) as part of the Midwest Solar Training Network with leadership from the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. The development of this presentation was supported with funding from U.S. Department of Energy as part of the grant DE-EE0002089.001 All materials in this presentation are designed expressly for educational purposes and for open public use. They may not be used for publication or commercial advertisement.



Benjamin Nusz, Mid-State Technical College Jack Gutschenritter, Wisconsin Solar Installations Sharon Alexander, Hot Water Products Alex Depillis, EcoEnergy LLC Andy DeRocher, Full Spectrum Solar John Hippensteel, Lake Michigan Wind and Sun Mark Morgan, Bearpaw Design and Const. John Price, Access Solar Energy Systems Bob Ramlow, Artha Sustainable Living Center Karl Schwingel, Northwind Renewable Energy Todd Timmerman, Timmermans Talents Ron Wroblewski, Productive Energy Solutions


Content Summary

The following covers the additional components that are installed in solar water heating systems. Outline

Solar Storage Tanks Heat Exchangers Pumps Valves Differential Temperature Controllers Expansion Tanks Piping and Insulation

Solar Storage Tanks

Storage Tanks with Internal Heat Exchangers Storage Tanks w/ External Heat Exchangers

Caleffi 2008

Two types of configurations:

Thermosiphon Double-pumped

Indirect Tanks with Internal Heat Exchangers Coil inside tank

Scale build up around coil Great surface area for heat transfer Some coils are whirled or rifled to increase surface area Requires galvanic protection or stainless coil
HWP 2010 ges/WHIndirectpic.gif

Indirect Tanks with Internal Heat Exchangers Coil around tank

Less scale build up Less surface area for heat transfer Can use standard copper coil without coating er_coil_solar_tank_solar_water_heater_.jpg

Indirect Tanks with Internal Heat Exchangers Jacketed (Tank-in-Tank)

Low scale build up Great surface area for heat transfer High volume of glycol needed - $$

Storage Tanks with External Heat Exchangers

Most require a double pump configuration Solar Pump and Water Pump Plate type Smaller, more head loss Tube in shell Larger, less head loss

External or Internal Heat Exchanger?

Internal heat exchangers: Usually cost less Easier installation and simpler system Fewer pumps Multiple components limited by tank life External heat exchangers: Easier serviceability of components in case of failure or mineral build-up Heat exchanger variety in size and type

Heat Exchanger Plate Type

Plate Type

Stainless, Cupronickel (copper nickel alloy), galvanized, etc Can be single or double walled changersuk_com.gif

Heat Exchanger
Tube-in-Shell (Cane Bundle)

Drainback Tanks

Hold all of the solar fluid Optional features

Site glass Internal heat exchanger /DB%20Specs.pdf

Multiple heat exchanger tanks

Multiple heat exchangers in a single tank Allows for multiple inputs or outputs Can be pressurized or atmospheric

The German Solar Energy Society. 2005. Planning and Installing Solar Thermal Systems: A Guide for Installers, Architects and Engineers. Earthscan: Frieberg, Germany.

Multiple heat exchanger tanks /Thermal-Storage-Tank-With-Heat-Exchangers.122133131_std.jpg

Large Volume Storage Tanks

Stainless Steel
Built to fit through doorways Custom fabricated Square tanks have Greater volume per area but are weaker at the seams

Nusz, Benjamin

Large Volume Storage Tanks

EPDM Lined Tanks
EPDM Lined solar storage tanks
Collapsible to fit into basements ar%20DHW%2047th%20st.%2011.10.06%20011.jpg

Large Volume Storage Tanks

Spun Fiberglass Tanks
Fiberglass Tanks Can be sectional Relatively inexpensive

Large Volume Storage Tanks

Cast Concrete Tanks
Can be installed outdoors or installed during intial construction Relatively inexpensive Must be buried or provided with additional supports

Large Volume Storage Tanks

Wooden Tanks
Home-made Solar Storage Tank

Wooden Frame EPDM Lining

Short Lifespan Develop Leaks

Large Volume Tanks

Multiple Tanks

Less Efficient

More heat exchangers and more heat loss

More Expensive More Complicated to Plumb Shorter Lifespan Parallel Configuration

Schwingel, Karl

Circulation Pumps

Pressurized systems use low head circulators (available in AC or DC models)

Only need to overcome the friction in the pipes

Unpressurized drainback systems use high head circulators (available in AC only)

Must overcome pipe friction and gravity

More strongly consider an AC pump for evacuated tube collectors

Greater resistance through header

AC Pumps

Circulating pumps to move solar fluid or water Controlled by differential temperature controller

Parasitic losses

More significant in drainback systems due to larger pump size Timers and multiple pumps

Variable speeds and multiple speed settings Bronze, Cast and Stainless body construction

Low Head Circulators

Caleffi 2008

High Head Circulators

Caleffi 2008

DC Pumps

Very small circulating pumps Controlled by direct connection with PV MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) Dont always need a DTC, but occasionally installed Electronically driven impellers

March Pumps 2010

Propylene Glycol

Antifreeze solution Biodegradable, non-toxic and food grade

Used quite commonly in the food and beauty products industry

Proprietary blends of corrosion inhibitors and stabilizers Rated to withstand at least 350F continuous

Lower specific heat capacity than water (0.85Btu/lb @50% concentration) Mix of ~50% for pressurized and 30% for drainback

Check Valve

Allow fluid in only one direction Prevent reverse thermosiphoning and night time heat losses Vacation bypass Spring Type Swing Type

Differential Temperature Controller (DTC)

Measures collector and tank temperatures Controls pumps or valves Multiple control options

Staged pumps Overheat protection Space heating integration

High-Limit (drainback only) Data logging and WI-FI Lightning protection and grounding

Automatic Air Vent

Allows entrapped air bubbles to escape the system Highest point of the system

Experience extreme temps on solar loop

Pressurized systems and potable water loops only Oftentimes isolated and removed

Ball Valves

Used to stop or slow flow Can be used to regulate flow Isolation valves Full port or full flow

Gate Valves

Used to stop flow on a hydronic loop Only intended to be fully open or fully closed Generally not used on the solar loop er-102-054HC-rw-165244-243248.jpg

Boiler Drains

Used to add or remove fluid from the system Ball or gate type Remember to tighten the seals before use product/246991_front200.jpg

Thermostatic Mixing Valve

Combines supplies of hot and cold water to a specific temperature setting Adjusts ratio of hot and cold based on supply temperatures Anti-scald safety device Increases available heat from storage tank Optional

Check valves to prevent heat bleeding into the cold line Unions for removal and cleaning Adjustable temperature output

Not a tempering valve Solar_Thermostatic_mixing_valve.jpg

Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

Safety valve for both temperature and pressure Code required for any pressurized vessel connected to a heat source Not used on the solar loop Drain pipe needs to terminate within 6 of the floor pressure%20&%20temperature%20re lief%20valve%20sectioned.gif _mce/plugins/imagemanager/files/pressure-valve.png

Pressure Relief Valves

Used on the solar loop to prevent dangerous pressures Indicator of system failure Pre-set or adjustable

80-90psi release

Drain pipe attached that terminates within 6 of the floor Use a bucket to catch fluid

Packaged Systems

Plug and play solar water heating systems Contain all parts for a functioning system May not be one size fits all

Temperature and Pressure Gauges

Pressure gauges (usually 0-100 psi) Temperature gauges (usually 0-250 F)

Both sides of the heat exchanger to see the temperature rise/drop Between solar storage and back-up water heater After the mixing valve

Mount gauges facing out or down so that they do not trap air bubbles

Expansion Tank

Provides space for fluid expansion Rubber bladder Pressurized on opposite side

DeRocher 2009



Hard or soft Type M, L, or K (thinnest to thickest wall) Solder 95/5 or stronger Cheaper per foot Needs more support Lower temp and pressure ratings Generally not appropriate for hot side of solar loop

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene)

Corrugated Stainless Steel Flex Pipe

Easy installation High head Higher cost


Temp ratings: 200F return / 250F supply Elastomeric, closed cell foam
K-flex Rubatex


with waterlogging

Exterior requirements: moisture, UV, animals Usually needs jacketing wall thickness (R-3) minimum

System Configuration

Boiler Drain

Boiler Drain DeRocher 2009

System Configuration

System Configuration

System Configuration

System Configuration

Works Cited

Additional Resources

Provide a list of resources for further investigation, including books, websites, and organizations