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Solar Thermal

Solar thermal is the collection, storage, and use of heat from sunshine to make hot water. It is one of the most efficient means of using solar energy. Think about how hot your car gets when you park it in the sun – with a thermal system, you capture this energy and make it work for you.

There is a huge amount of energy in solar radiation, and the sunshine on one square foot in one year is equal to the energy in 2.5 gallons of oil. Two or three collectors can easily supply all the hot water for an average family on sunny days. Even on cloudy days, they can make a substantial contribution and cut utility bills.

Carlson Solar Technologies specializes in offering solar hot water systems for commercial applications. In addition to heating hot water, we also utilize solar thermal to provide space heating and to heat swimming pools. CST has the ability to design and provide clients with thermal systems to accomplish multiple objectives at the same time.

We understand there are several different types of thermal hot water systems available, however we believe in offering our clients the best thermal system available on the market today. We offer solar hot water systems manufactured by Schüco.

Schüco solar thermal is a far cry from the old systems back in the 70’s. The collectors are much more effective, and infinitely better-looking. They are designed with sleek lines, and an attractive, smooth surface. They blend in perfectly with the roof line and make a statement about taste and innovation.

Schüco’s third-generation, closed-loop technology is at the leading edge of efficiency and reliability. The systems are practically maintenance-free. CST designs systems to include everything needed – collectors, fluid, tanks, valves, control instrumentation, and mounting hardware.

Thermal Components

Solar Thermal Collectors

Thermal collectors are mounted on buildings to convert the sun's energy into heat. Every collector consists of three layers, each with a different task:

The surface layer of the collector is made of special safety glass, and protects the elements below from the weather. Sunlight penetrates the glass and reaches the specially-coated absorption sheets below. These absorb the sun’s energy and pass it on to the copper pipes underneath, where it heats the non-toxic, freeze-proof thermal transfer fluid that is pumped through them. To increase the area of contact between the pipes and sheets, the pipes are laid out in a meandering way. This speeds up the heating process and makes the system more efficient.

Schüco collectors give industry leading heat collection efficiency. Tempered safety glass, a tough aluminum frame, and corrosion resistant materials ensure long service life. The Schüco premium collectors are architectural grade collectors with clear glass, rounded edges and the industries most finished design.

S olar Storage Cylinders/Tank

The storage tank is where the heat from the collectors is transferred to your water system and stored. The solar fluid never touches the water. The fluid from the collectors flows through the heat exchanger in the solar storage cylinder, where it transfers its heat to the water inside. It heats the water in the same way as a heating coil in an immersion heater would – only without electricity.

The very large surface areas available for heat exchange ensure that as much heat as possible is transferred to the drinking water. Efficient insulation ensures optimum heat storage so that hot water is always available on demand.

A back-up heating system (such as a conventional boiler) is connected to the solar storage cylinder too. This ensures plenty of hot water at all times. If there is not enough sunlight to meet the demand, the back-up heating system switches on.

Expansion Tank

Solar collectors get hot, and the solar fluid expands and contracts as its temperature changes. The expansion tank gives it a place to do this.

Solar Stations

Solar stations regulate the flow, and hence the temperature, of the fluid used in solar thermal systems.

A control unit in the solar station compares the temperature of the thermal collectors with the temperature in the solar storage cylinder. If the temperature in the collectors is higher, the control unit activates a pump that sends fluid from the collectors to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger then heats the water in the solar storage cylinder for use.

The controller allows the thermal system to give priority to one function over another if the thermal system is designed to have multiple functions. For example, the system would heat the hot water for the showers prior to heating the swimming pool.

Mounting Hardware

Our SolarEZ mounting system is carefully engineered for durability and strength to mount the collectors on the roof. There are different types of mounting hardware utilized based on the type of roof.