Plumbing. Heating. Conditioning. Energy Efficiency.

Vacuum tube collector with overheating protection

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02 December 2011
Chinese company Changzhou He Jia Solar Energy Limited presented a new collector type at the All-Energy Australia 2011 trade fair in Melbourne in October 2011. “Our new vacuum tube collector HFC-2 comes with a special design which makes the collector panel around $100 more expensive,” explains Frank Witkowski, Director of Australian Sales Office OZ Hejia Solar. “The eight heat pipe tubes with a CPC aluminium reflector made in Germany are enclosed in a box with a back sheet and a 3.2 mm low-iron tempered glass cover on the top.” This design produces very high stagnation temperatures of up to 300 °C. Hence, a curtain is placed under the glass cover, which moves as soon as the storage tank reaches the set temperature. “The curtain opens again automatically if the storage tank drops below the set temperature, which is 5 °C below maximum storage temperature,” explains Witkowski.
The curtain is made of fibre glass with a Teflon treatment on the surface and is supplied by its own 12 Volt solar supply system, which allows the system to operate even when the power is cut. According to OZ Heija Solar’s Managing Director, the collector design has two very important advantages on the Australian market: First, the collector is resistant to 40 mm hail stones. Second, the curtain prevents the collector from overheating. According to Witkowski, the system does not need an expansion tank, no security valve or other temperature controlling measures. This also means that no water is lost by opening valves – it is important for dry regions.

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