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Solar Water Heater Heat Exchanger

Updated on August 22, 2010

Solar Water Heater Heat Exchanger

Solar water heating systems will utilize heat exchangers in order to transfer the solar energy that is absorbed in different solar collectors towards air or liquid that is used to heat space or water. A heat exchanger can be created out of bronze, steel, copper, stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum. In most cases copper is utilized as it is a really good thermal conductor. It will also provide good levels of corrosion resistance. Let us analyze some common heat exchanger types that you might want to utilize.

Basically we have 2 heat exchanger types: air to liquid and liquid to liquid. One liquid to liquid water exchanger for solar heater systems will utilize heat transfer fluid. It basically circulates through solar collectors, absorbs heat and goes through heat exchangers so that heat is transferred towards the water in the storage tank. Different heat transfer fluids can protect collectors from freezing during winter. One liquid to liquid exchanger system needs at least one barrier so that it stays effective. One heat exchanger built with a one wall system usually has a pipe or tube surrounded by fluid. A double wall exchanger will have 2 fluids and walls between them. Double walled solar water systems are needed so that safety offered is higher. Problem is that efficiency is not really that high if we compare with single systems. Air heater collectors are included in air to liquid systems. Between the solar collectors and the air distribution systems there will be no need of using heat exchangers. Besides the use of air instead of liquid the two solar water heater heat exchanger systems are similar.

Sizing is always important whenever you are building solar water heat exchanging systems. All is really effective when you take size into account. Whenever you think about the topic there is a need to think about heat exchanger types, characteristics of heat transfer fluid, inlet temperatures, flow rates and outlet temperatures. Ratings are usually given by most manufacturers for every heat exchanger out there. Read all the specifications in order to make the best possible decisions.

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