( Solar Thermal Magazine ) – Solar Collector panels, the heart of the solar thermal hot water system. Here is a video of a Side by side testing of eight solar collector panels in water heating systems. How this DTI funded report on solar collector panels performance highlighted the need for zero carbon solar thermal systems because the operational carbon clawback exceeded 20% for some makes of solar panel.Solar thermal collector panels reflect the suns energy from a dark background backboard to a series of collector tubes carrying water or a working fluid. They work much like what happens when you leave a black or dark water hose out on the lawn in the sun with the water off. When you turn it on the water that first comes out of the hose is so hot it could burn your hand. A solar thermal collector panel magnifies this effect.
There was one zero carbon solar collector panel, Solartwin, whose design innovations were validated by the study. Solar energy is not negated by “parasitics” by the best solar panel designs.. (YouTube; September 21, 2007)
The design and efficiency of the solar collector panel is critically important to the operation of the solar hot water system. Other considerations include maintenance requirements,warranty,quality of manufacture and components and of course the overall price.