Thermal Performance of a Large Low Flow Solar Heating System with a Highly Thermally Stratified Tank

Simon Furbo, Niels Kristian Vejen, Louise Jivan Shah

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In year 2000 a 336 m² solar domestic hot water system was built in Sundparken, Elsinore, Denmark. The solar heating system is a low flow system with a 10000 l hot-water tank. Due to the orientation of the buildings half of the solar collectors are facing east, half of the solar collectors are facing west. The collector tilt is 15° from horizontal for all collectors. Both the east-facing and the west-facing collectors have their own solar collector loop, circulation pump, external heat exchanger and control system. The external heat exchangers are used to transfer the heat from the solar collector fluid to the domestic water. The domestic water is pumped from the bottom of the hot-water tank to the heat exchanger and back to the hot-water tank through stratification inlet pipes. The return flow from the DHW circulation pipe also enters the tank through stratification inlet pipes. The tank design ensures an excellent thermal stratification in the tank. The solar heating system was installed in May 2000. The thermal performance of the solar heating system has been measured in the first two years of operation. Compared to other large Danish solar domestic hot water systems the system is performing well in spite of the fact that the solar collectors are far from being orientated optimally. The utilization of the solar radiation on the collectors is higher, 46% in the second year of operation, than for any other system earlier investigated in Denmark, 16%-34%. The reason for the good thermal performance and for the excellent utilization of the solar radiation is the high hot-water consumption and the good system design making use of external heat exchangers and stratification inlet pipes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)15-20
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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