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View Diary: Solar Power: Making the right choice, the easy choice ... (260 comments)

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  •  Earlier diary by me .. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, The Jester

    Energy COOL: Combined Solar Thermal / PhotoVoltaiic Power (CSTP/CPV) ... comments had links / discussions to others pursuing the same type of features.

    •  The particular system on TOH is... (0+ / 0-)

      ... ingenious. It uses heating elements that consist of sealed glass tubes, with a vacuum inside, an absorbant metal element to be heated, brazed to a couple of heatpipes. Just like what you'd find on a CPU chip cooler. One goes to each end.

      The heatpipe is filled with water, but at way below standard presure, so the water "boils" at well below 100C. The sun heats the element, the heat boils the water in the heatpipes, and the steam travels to the end and transfers that heat to the manifold, cools back to water, and runs back to the element to be reheated. The only moving part is THE WATER. No pumps, etc. The speed at which the water/steam molecules can move in such a system can approach the speed of sound!!!

      The manifold is a pre-bent precision copper tubing, which the glass heating tubes clamp into. It's a great module setup, able to be made any size you wish, and any idiot can assemble it. The manifold's (top and bottom) connect to regular plumbing, where you would use a simple circulating pump, thermostat, and holding tank. Using a glycol/water cooling fluid in this circuit to heat the heating element tubes in a typical hotwater storage tank in the basement.

      The array size (sq-ft) chosen to meet the particular needs expected. It makes for the best and most efficient solar hot water design I've ever seen. I assume the company's name is listed on the TOH website.

      On the PV setup, I don't like the one TOH uses, I believe the future is the EMCOR design, it is more efficient, and with a slight redesign to make each individual element sun-following, rather than the entire array, it will make for a great rooftop solution, and the reflector size can make up for the decreased sun power of the northern areas of the US. Using advanced FAB techniques, the EMCOR element design can see both efficiency increases AND vast COST decreases in the very near future... as in, as soon as we bother to bother.

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