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Author Topic: Matching solar collector area to the solar store problem  (Read 2087 times)
Jr. Member
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« on: July 07, 2008, 01:49:00 PM »

I have a 30-tube, 250 lit solar water heating installation, with which I am satisfied (thank you Jason). 

But I have been thinking - a bad thing to do  ;-)

Rather than having to choose a fixed number of tubes for the worst conditions, why is there not another method of matching the solar collector area to that of the solar store?  What is required is that the area of collector needs to change throughout the year.  It needs to be large in winter and smaller in summer.  So what about a system which covers the tubes in summer and uncovers them incrementally to fully open in winter?

A venetian-blind system would be difficult to implement because the sun's angle changes throughout the day.  Something like shop window shutters might be satisfactory where they are rotated over the area and when fully open would lie underneath the tubes.  The problem is the weight which would be added to the roof, but they do need to be robust to survive in the hostile conditions - heat, light, snow and gales.  Also, they do exist already.  Instead of having only 30 tubes, I have space for 90.  This would extend the year to - say - Christmas!

The control system could be manual - with a handle like a store blind, or automatic.

Has this idea been tried and with what result?


Confidence:  the feeling you have before you really understand the situation.
Hero Member
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 02:23:51 PM »

There was some discussion on this before.  Particularly covering tubes for holidays.  However it would be better to think in terms of using the extra heat.   It wouldn't be all that difficult to store  heat well into the autumn and winter using low cost materials.

DHW 250 litre cylinder  60 X 47mm tubes
Heating  180,000 litre straw insulated seasonal store, 90X58mm tubes + 7 sqm flat collectors, 1 kW VAWT, 3 kW heatpump plus Walltherm gasifying stove
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