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Forced circulation solar heating panels

Forced circulation system diagram

Forced heating systems are the ideal solution for producing large quantities of hot water: for buildings with numerous apartments, nursing homes and for places that have a very high consumption of water such as hotels, restaurants, sports centers or gyms with showers…

How do they work?

Let’s find out how these systems work by following the diagram found on the right hand side.

Inside the thermal collectors (A) are tubes and inside the tubes flows a liquid (water + antifreeze) which heats up when it is exposed to the sun. A control unit (B) measures the temperature of the liquid in the panel and also measures the water temperature inside the tank. If the liquid in the panels is hotter than the water inside the tank, the control unit activates a pump (C) which sends the liquid into the circuit by passing through a coil inside the tank.    The exchange of heat from the liquid to the tank’s water takes place via the coil (D). The heat then enters the house’s water circuit (E).

In winter or during prolonged periods of bad weather, more water is required than the system can provide. In these cases the boiler (F) is activated. It heats the water which goes through another coil found at the top of the boiler thus providing the heat required to reach the desired temperature.    The boiler in any case is used less and as a result less gas or diesel will be needed.

In summer, the solar system provides enough hot water for bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry-room.

In order to understand what thermal system best suits ones needs we must begin by establishing heat consumption and the area available for positioning the solar heating panels (roof or ground space).  

The main advantages of these plants are the following:

1. A high level of efficiency thanks to the the vertical tank (mixing hot and cold water is avoided)
2. Positioning the tank inside the home (limiting the system’s visual impact)