Solar energy technology Page 18

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6. Collector technology

Service technicians should have a very good technical knowledge of the different collector types available on the market. They should know how all these different collector types function as well as what their possibilities of use are. Only equipped with this knowledge they can decide which systems and devices fit the customer's needs best and which cost-benefit calculations have to be done. For this reason, collector technology in general as well as the most important collector types are going to be discussed in detail in the following.

Absorber collectors

The simplest and most affordable collectors are absorber collectors without cover (also simply called "absorbers"). Their performance depends very strongly on the outside temperature. With high outside temperatures in the summer they have a high efficiency. This high efficiency however is rapidly decreasing with sinking outside temperatures since absorber collectors are not insulated against low outside temperatures. Absorbers reach work temperatures that e.g. re sufficient for the heating of water for outdoor swimming pools during the bathing season, even in Northern European climatic zones. Absorber collectors are made exclusively of synthetic materials so that the water they are heating can best flow through. Usually absorbers are supplied in the form of mats, tapes or hoses lying next to each other. These collector forms make it relatively easy to cover large areas with them. Temperatures needed for the heating of drinking water or for the support of room heating systems can not be achieved with absorber collectors. So, their area of application is primarily limited to this use as swimming pool water heaters. For these purposes collectors with front cover and insulation are required. Diagram 15 shows the function of a swimming pool absorber collector.

Diagram 15: Function of a swimming pool absorber collector

English translation of technical terms and sentences in diagram 15:

= Absorber collector
Steuerung = Regulation and control unit
Filter = Filter
Pumpe = Pump
Schwimmbadabdeckung = Swimming pool cover
Schwimmbecken = Swimming pool


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