How do solar water heating panels work?
Solar water heating systems use solar panels (sometimes called collectors) to collect heat from the sun which is then used to heat up the water stored in a hot water cylinder.
A boiler is then used to further back up the heat from the water to reach the temperature you want.
Worcester Greenskies solar panels form part of a system which remains separate from the boiler heating system.
The solar water heating panels are mounted on a surface which is selected for its exposure to sunlight and usually connected, via pipe work, to the lower coil of a twin-coil solar cylinder.
Types of solar water heating from Worcester
There are three types of Greenskies solar thermal panels:
- Greenskies Solar-Lux evacuated tubes
- Greenskies Solar-Lifestyle flat plate collectors
- Greenskies Solar-Lito flat plate collectors
The purpose of the solar thermal panels is for the energy in the sun’s rays to be absorbed by the panel and the heat to be transferred into the pipe work via the absorber plates.
The pipe work is filled with a ready-mixed liquid, containing glycol and water, which is circulated by a pump to the coil in the hot water cylinder. The heat is deposited in the storage cylinder and the glycol returns to the panel to absorb more free solar energy.
The system is equipped with a simple unit to control the flow of energy from the panels to the storage cylinder.
Evacuated tube solar panels: Greenskies Solar-Lux
Worcester Greenskies Solar-Lux are double walled glass, direct flow, CPC mirror evacuated tubes. This means that the glycol flows directly through a U-shaped pipe inside a glass tube.
This acts like a thermos flask in trapping the solar radiation and has the added benefit of not allowing the heat it has gained to be lost easily.
The CPC mirror is a concave mirror set behind the tubes and leads direct and diffused radiation to the absorber even with adverse/acute angles – in effect, providing 360° absorption to the tube.
As such, evacuated tubes are a better choice where conditions and temperatures are not optimal – for example, for areas with lower average temperatures in the UK.
Flat plate solar panels: Greenskies Solar-Lifestyle and Greenskies Solar-Lito
Worcester Greenskies Solar-Lifestyle panels utilise a PVD Aluminium full sheet absorber plate which is ultrasonically welded to a harp absorber copper pipe to collect the solar radiation.
Worcester Greenskies Solar-Lito and Solar-Lito Mini collectors feature a copper strip absorber which has a high selective black chrome coating. It also utilises a copper pipe harp absorber as the hydraulic flow.