Solar Thermal Heating

Solar Thermal Heating

The 4′ by 8′ panels with a burried a cable in which the water glycol mixture circulated between the house and the panels

Although the majority of the renovation was fixing and replacing, we had decided to install an insulated, attached, front drive, 3 car garage. As we had already decided to heat the home and garage area with solar thermal we were able to put the flexible polyethylene (PEX) into the flooring of the garage. The basement was heated this way but the rest of the home had a radiator type system.

Our contractors installed a new energy efficient boiler and a complex pump system handled the different temperatures for the two types of heating as well as our domestic hot water. Three 119-gallon (US) tanks stored the preheated water with a fourth working as our domestic water storage. The panels would heat a water/glycol fluid that would enter into the home through a burried line. This heated fluid would run through the collectors and a heat exchanger, storing the fluid in the tanks as well as preheating water before it enters the domestic tank.

The Glazed flat-plate collectors were in a feild near the house, fronted by coniferous trees. This meant that in the summer they would partially shade the panels, but in the winter when you really need the heat, the panels were able to get sun all day long. This was like a glass covered box with a dark background (absorber plate) and copper piping in which the water/glycol mixture circulated.