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What to take into account when choosing a solar thermal equipment?

When you opt for the solar thermal energy to obtain sanitary hot water the right decision is being made. There are many reasons to consider whether to invest in equipment that manages to provide hot water or, also, heating without the need to use fossil fuels that emit polluting gases and that present a high degree of danger or having to have conventional electrical appliances that contribute to fattening month a month the electricity bill.

However, before starting to invest without knowing in depth what the market offers, it is essential to take into account a series of aspects that help us choose the best equipment, that is, the one that suits our needs and meets our needs. expectations.

Characteristics of a thermal solar panel

In many cases, inexperience leads to believe that all solar panels are the same, that they only differ in the material that captures solar radiation and that all can serve the same purpose, but in reality there are many manufacturing qualities and choose equipment that does not give you problems in the long run, it will be a success.

Thermal solar panel or solar collector, allows to take advantage of solar thermal energy (heat) and can be used to heat water for domestic or industrial use, to heat pool water, etc.

Within the thermal solar panels we can subdivide into 3 types:

  • Low temperature: These are solar collectors without thermal insulation that are normally used to heat pool water. They tend to be made of plastic materials and the most economical solution. These cannot be used to heat water for human consumption.
  • Medium temperature: They are flat solar panels. Normally only used for DHW generation.
  • High temperature: They are vacuum tube solar collectors. The most used for installations that need high performance (heating, pool heating throughout the year, …) or higher temperatures than those used for DHW, although they are also increasingly used in installations for DHW only.

Solar thermal collectors, panels or collectors

Sanitary Hot Water that I need to produce

An also important aspect that we must control is the amount of DHW we will need for our daily use, depending on this we will choose an equipment that is capable of generating more or less liters of DHW per day. The more DHW we need, the more solar collectors and a storage tank that is capable of containing that amount that we want to convert into domestic hot water will be needed.

The material quality of solar collectors and storage tank

When we choose our solar thermal equipment, be it thermosiphonic or forced circulation, we have to make sure that it is prepared not to corrode or rust, both inside the device and outside.

The coatings must be of quality, the tanks must incorporate the appropriate magnesium anode (which must be replaced periodically) and the primary circuit must contain propylene glycol (heat transfer fluid with antifreeze and anticorrosive agents) in perfect condition. The problems that usually appear in thermal solar equipment in the long run, usually derive from not doing the correct maintenance of the same, maintaining the protection of the tank (replacing the magnesium anode when it touches) and reviewing or substituting (when necessary) the propylene glycol to make sure that it is still in perfect condition and continues to protect the equipment.

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