Storage/Collector SystemsMay 3, 2014
Did you know that Integrated storage/collector systems can be used to provide solar preheating of warm to hot water in hot-humid climates, if thermal performance is not critical but cost is?
In these systems the storage tank itself acts as the collector. Provided that overnight temperatures are not to low, which is the case in humid tropical areas, if overnight temperatures are low (or if night skies are clear as in hot dry areas) heat loses may be excessive leading to unacceptably low water temperatures in the early morning.
Excessive overnight heat loss from the tank may be overcome by fitting a movable, insulated cover to the front of the unit. This solution is of course only effective of the user remembers to put the cover in place at night and to remove ot in the morning.
Additional problems with this type of solar water heating system are; corrosion of the tank and the bursting of the tank (due to poor water quality and excessive mains water pressure). Considerations of roof strength generally restrict the capability of integrated systems to 100 liters or less, due to their concentrated mass.