How does the evacuated tube work?
An evacuated tube is a glass tube with a vacuum inside of it. This is a similar principle to that of double glazing, stopping most conductive and reflective heat losses. Inside the tube is a copper pipe encasing a heat transfer liquid that transfers the heat to the top of the heat pipe element section of the tube which in turn heats the water in the manifold. This liquid is cooled by the water flowing past and as such convects back to the base of the copper heat pipe to be reheated. This cycle continues taking heat from the collector area to the element part of the heat pipe providing a very efficient heat transfer mechanism to the hot water supply to your cylinder. Aluminum fins coated with highly conductive Aluminum Nitride increase the collector area of each heat pipe.
Each heat pipe is plugged into a manifold through which the water from the bottom of the cylinder is recycled heating this water before returning it back into the mid-section of the cylinder hot, this is controlled for optimum performance by a controller and small wilo pump, supplied with the system.
The Sunshine Solar split system uses a pump to transfer water around the solar loop to collect the heat from the solar panels when powered by the sun. This is via a differential controller which will activate and deactivate to ensure maximum panel efficiency. As the system is pumped the cylinder can be placed anywhere in the house or roof space.
Retrofit or Solar cylinder
Retrofit to your existing cylinder
To save money on a new cylinder we can attach to existing cylinders. Elements are run on a timer system to ensure the element does not come on during high sun periods. The flow and return to the solar panel are normally attached to the cold water entry of the cylinder.
Solar ready cylinder
To get the most benefit of the solar water heating a solar cylinder is most commonly used. The differences between this and a conventional cylinder is they have a raised element (typically at the mid point), and, it will have flow and return pipes for the solar panels already in place. Sunshine Solar has installed and modeled for optimization many systems to ensure we can recommend you the best possible configurations.
Electric or gas boost
The electric or gas auxiliary heating is triggered by the controller during periods of low sunshine. The controller minimizes the time that this auxiliary heating comes on but will ensure that this comes on when a back up is required. For systems running “instant gas” a storage cylinder is required to be used as a solar store and as a preheat to the gas calfont. If the solar preheated water is up to 60C it will divert past the gas califont. When the water does not reach 60C the gas will give it a boost. There are many configurations of this depending on cylinder size, water usage and preference.