Solar energy (which is referred to as heat and radiant light from the sun), has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar thermal electricity, photovoltaic, heating as well as architecture. These technologies can make contributions in solving some of the most urgent energy problems the world now faces. They are categorized into active or passive, which depends on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Passive technique includes selecting materials with light dispersing properties or favorable thermal mass, designing spaces that naturally circulate air and orienting a building to the sun. Active techniques include the use of thermal collectors and photovoltaic panels to harness the energy.
There are various kinds of solar heating kits available in the market in United States along with the rest of the world. Along with this, there are various other systems, which are used in these days by the people across the globe. These systems include solar water heaters, solar heating kits, storage tanks and vacuum collectors along with various others. In all these systems, solar heat exchangers are used to transfer energy absorbed in collectors to the air or liquid used to heat space or water. Usually, heat exchangers are made using cast iron, copper, aluminum, copper, stainless steel or bronze. Due to good thermal conductor as well as greater resistance to corrosion, coppers are usually used in the heating system.
There are different types of solar heat exchanger, which are as follows:
Air-to-liquid: Normally, heating systems with air heater collectors do not need a heat exchanger between the air distribution system and the collector. The systems with air heater collectors that heat water use air-to-liquid heat exchangers are similar to liquid-to-air heat exchangers.
Liquid-to-liquid: A liquid-to-liquid exchanger uses a transfer fluid that circulates through the collectors, absorbs and then flows through an exchanger its heat to water in a storage tank. Transfer fluids like antifreeze use to protect the collector from freezing in cold weather. They have either two or one barriers (double wall or single wall) between the domestic water supply and transfer fluid. A double wall exchanger has two walls between two fluids. These walls are used when the transfer fluid is toxic like ethylene glycol (antifreeze). A single wall exchanger is a tube or pipe surrounded by a fluid. Either the fluid passing through the tubing or the fluid surrounding the tube can be the transfer fluid, while the other fluid is the portable water.
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Solar Heat Exchanger – Helpful In Capturing Power From The S