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working solar

Direct vs. indirect

Thermosiphon

Pumped

Low Pressure

Solar Energy

If you are new to Solar, we are pretty sure that you have heard of all sorts of different terminology, and every ‘advisor’ has given you advice as to which system to use and which not to use.
The truth is that all the systems are very good and very efficient when used within their particular design parameters.
Each Button serves to explain either the difference between two systems, or a particular type of system.

We install all of these systems in accordance with the BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME FOR THAT PARTICULAR INSTALLATION AND OUR CLIENT’S CIRCUMSTANCES.

So once you have had a quick, read, contact us for a FREE NO OBLIGATIONS QUOTE!

Explanation of Terms


Geyser - The Water Tank
Solar Collector - The Flat Panel OR the Vacuum Tubes which you see on the roof
This is the engine of the Solar System and is what traps the Sun’s rays and converts them to useable heat to heat the water in the geyser.
Timer - In order to claim Eskom’s Rebate all ESKOM approved systems come with a timer. This allows you to control when your thermostat checks the water temperature in the geyser and either turns on or off the geyser element.
Controller - This controls the pump which circulates the water from the geyser to the collector and back to the geyser in. It has temperature probes in the geyser and the collector, and only circulates water when the collector is 8° warmer than the geyser. This makes the split system extremely efficient. In addition the controller has a timer which controls the element as per above Timer.


DIRECT VS. INDIRECT SYSTEMS


DIRECT means that the Solar Collector heats the water directly and this flows back into your geyser and then out to your tap.
INDIRECT means that the Solar Collector heats another fluid (usually Glycol) which flows into a heat exchanger where this heat is transferred to the water. The water which comes out of your tap is not heated directly by the Solar Collector, but rather by this fluid.
Due to their complexity, the Indirect systems are therefore slightly more expensive.

THERMOSIPHON SYSTEMS

thermosiphon system


Thermosiphon (Direct)
The Thermosiphon system is installed with the geyser always 300mm higher than the top of the collector panel.


In the direct system as shown above, the water from the geyser circulates through the panel using basic physics – hot water rises, and cold water sinks. In this instance the Solar Collector can either be a Flat Plate Collector OR Vacuum Tubes.
In some cases the geyser can still be placed higher than the panel inside the roof, but this is usually only possible in new build projects.

PUMPED SYSTEMS


Separated System (Direct) or Pumped
In separated systems a pump is used to circulate the water from the geyser to the panel. If the height difference between the geyser and the Solar Collector is less than 6meters a 12V pump with a photovoltaic panel can be used. If this is greater than 6meters a 220V pump is used. In both cases a Digital controller is used to ensure that only water which is hotter than the geyser is circulated from the Solar Collector.
1Collector
2Digital Controller
3Pump- 12V or 220V

Split or separated systems allow you to place the geyser inside the roof and the panel on a sunny north facing roof.
The Geyser is fitted with an electrical element and a timer.

LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS


Integrated Low Pressure Systems
Vacuum tube pipes are inserted into the main tank directly with a seal which prevents the water from running out. Water flows directly into the tubes and the sun’s energy is transferred to the water. The hot water rises in the tubes and is replaced by cooler water siphoning out of the tank - automatically circulating the water.

low pressure system

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