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What is a Solar Heat Exchanger?

By Elliot DeLaney

Many residences are greatly benefiting both the environment and themselves with solar heat exchangers. They benefit both residential settings and commercial buildings economically and as an energy efficient source. This environmentally friendly heating source, which is controlled by the sun, is far less expensive than traditional heating and easier to install. Most solar heat exchangers are used to generate electricity that has a multitude of uses throughout any building.

heat exchanger

Solar Heat Exchangers are usually placed on a roof or nearby room, in a reflective box that is turned towards the sun. Liquid transmits through the boxes solar panel where it is thoroughly heated. The sun’s energy is completely utilized to heat a “collector” in this box. The heat generated is then transmitted from the collector into the home or residence. Some solar water heat exchangers will automatically pump and circulate water throughout the collectors which will give the building long lasting heat for extended periods of time. The water that is transferred from the heat exchanger will end up in in a hot water tank and then circulate back to the panels to be reheated again by the sun.

Some may wonder how these solar heat exchanger would function if there is very little sun or none at all. This can be solved with a backup heater that will automatically heat the hot water tank, thus beginning the circulation of heat once more. The transfer of heat ultimately depends on the heat exchange’s power and the amount of surface area the exchanger covers. Since the sun may not always be available the flow must be increased on the heat exchanger in order to dispense quality heat throughout a building.

When the fluids flows throughout a solar heat exchanger there is a transfer of both warm and frigid water that will flow in opposite directions of each other, a process designed to create a steady temperature throughout the rooms in a house or building. This is incredibly effective, compared to the amount of heat that would be transferred if the fluids were going in the same direction. The liquid used to heat, in a heat exchanger situation, is mixed with glycol and water which is stored in the heat exchanger and collectors. This storage is called a closed loop and is responsible for the circulation of fluids when the sun shines. The sun will shine on the each of the collectors which will activate a pump within the loop and thus continue the constant circulation inside that loop. Solar heat exchangers are a great investment for a home or a business that plans to save on the cost of heating while simultaneously experiencing high quality heat that will fill a large space capacity.

About the author:
Elliot Delaney writes for and for a number of other green and heating related online resources.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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