What is a Solar Heating System?
A solar heating system is a system that utilizes sun’s thermal energy to provide heating for various uses including domestic hot water (DHW), space heating (underfloor radiant heating, forced air), snow melting, pool heating and process heating (chemical, food & agriculture). Solar thermal heating requires the deployment of solar collectors, which can be categorized as low, medium or high temperature.
Commercial Solar Thermal Solutions
Commercial solar thermal solutions include solar hot water heaters or space heating systems. In commercial solar heating systems, a solar collector collects sunlight to heat up the water or heat transfer fluid, a circulating pump transfers hot water into a storage tank and the existing hot water system is then heated by the solar thermal system.
Solar Water Heaters
Solar water heaters are designed as collectors or as circulation systems.
Solar water heater collectors include: Batch collectors, which are essentially tanks that store heated water until used; Flat-plate collectors, which typically contain 40 gallons of water; or Evacuated tube collectors, which use vacuum between the inner tube and outer glass tube to store heated water (similar to a thermos).
Solar circulation systems include: Direct systems, which circulate water through solar collectors for it to be heater; Closed-loop systems, which use a non-freezing liquid that carries the sun’s thermal energy to heat water stored in collectors; Active (forced-circulation) systems, which use electric pumps to move water from collectors to storage tanks; and Passive systems, which use natural convection to move water from collectors to storage tanks.