Evacuated Tube Solar hot water systems capture heat from the sun and then use that heat to warm water in a tank. The technology has been around for over 50 years so it offers proven reliability and excellent efficiency.
An insulated collector box on the roof of the home contains a series of evacuated tubes with a dark coating designed to absorb sunlight. The sunlight strikes the tubes and they absorb heat. A heat pipe transfers the heat to a copper pipe. Inside the copper pipe is a heat transfer material in the form of a liquid that travels up the copper bulb inside the collector box. A circulator moves water to the copper bulbs, heating the water. The solar heated water then travels back down into a tank ready for use.
Thermann solar systems in Australia are either boosted with an electric element inside the tank, or a separate gas continuous flow system that will fill the tank with hot water if the temperature in the tank falls below 50oC. Anti-frost is built in to the Thermann system to ensure solar hot water can be adequately provided even in cold regions.
Evacuated Tube Solar is a simple, cost effective technology that offers excellent efficiency and long life. Basically, each tube is like a little greenhouse that traps sunlight inside which is used to heat water. Because the tubes are round, they can efficiently collect heat no matter where the sun is in the sky. This is called ‘active tracking’ and ensures you have hot water all day long. In times of high sun exposure, 100% of the water within the system is heated by the solar energy, meaning you are using almost no mains power.
A common misconception of evacuated tube solar is that they only work in warmer environments, but this is not the case. Evacuated tube solar can warm water at zero temperatures and they continue to work well even in overcast conditions. This makes them just as suitable for use in the southern Australian states as well as in the northern parts of Australia.
If your home allows for roof top solar, then an Evacuated Solar system is an excellent choice. It will greatly reduce your energy bills over a conventional storage system. The roof mounted solar collectors do not require a large amount of roof space plus their highly durable and light weight. If a tube ever gets broken, it can be replaced easily and affordably, without having to replace the whole unit. All in all, evacuated tube solar is a great balance of up-front affordability and ongoing energy efficiency.