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Flat Plate Solar Collector vs Evacuated Tube

Views:82     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2018-07-19      Origin:Site

About Sinoyin: Solar Thermal Collectors Manufacturers


In the thermal panel industry, the comparison and dilemma between choosing flat plate solar collectors vs evacuated tubes is actually pretty common as we are talking about two of the most primary types of thermal panels. If you ask ordinary folks and even some experts, you will hear varied opinions, as one may lean towards one side or the other. However, there is no superior or inferior choice--it all boils down to your needs and specifically, the purpose you wish to use the system, the environment/climate conditions, your budget and other factors that influence your purchase. Here are some factors to consider when comparing flat plate solar collector vs an evacuated tube:


Flat Plate Solar Collector

Cost


Generally speaking, flat plate solar collectors are cheaper by 20-40% on average compared to evacuated tubes. The reason why is because flat plate solar collectors require fewer resources and technology to be manufactured as opposed to evacuated tubes. Plus, the flat plate solar collectors’ BTU/$ ratio is also more cost-efficient if we compare these two.


Functionality/Performance


In general, evacuated tubes work better in colder and more cloudy climates compared to their flat panel equivalents. This is due to the vacuum in the glass tube, which lets the tube receivers to keep a higher % of accumulated heat. They are also a handier choice in snow and freezing cold climates as opposed to flat panels.

 

The only lack of evacuated tubes in this regard, is that in regions with more intense snowfall, they won’t transfer much heat from the receiver and therefore won’t be able to heat snow and ice as fast as flat plate solar collectors. Evacuated tubes in colder environments can be set-up at a more elevated angle to allow better sun exposure and together with a distinguisher between the tubes, they will enable snow and heavy ice to be taken off more easily. Clients that urgently need hot water for washing tasks e.g car washing, may find that flat panel collectors won’t work exactly at temperatures between 130-140F. In this case, evacuated tube collectors may be employed to heat up water up to 200F.


Structure


Flat panels are generally assembled with an unshielded enclosure, which can leave them exposed to condensation or even friction over the passage of time. Still, this isn’t a major issue that influences the performance of a flat panel unless friction emerges, which is mainly an appearance and not functionality problem.

 

On the contrary, evacuated tubes are shielded with a vacuum, which makes more adept at retaining heat--still, in case the vacuum is removed, the rest of the evacuated tube will function badly. This could be easily fixed, however, by replacing the lost vacuum.


Set-up/installation


Evacuated tubes tend to be more lightweight and are usually more resistant to the sun’s orientation and placement compared to their flat plate equivalents. Their circular shape enables more sunlight to be absorbed in a suitable angle from day to night.

 

All in all, flat panel systems are suitable for those on a stricter budget that reside in southern climates or seasonal homes during the summertime. Evacuated tubes though are a better option for those living in colder climates with frequent snows and ice cold temperatures who require hot water faster.


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jeremy@sinoyin.com

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