PV Powered Solar Hot Water
Sun Bandit Solar Powered PV Hot Water VS The Solar Thermal Roof Collector With Auto Drain Back
The Sun Bandit PV Powered Hot Water System
Technology has finally advanced to the point that it is now possible to heat water directly from solar panels.
The problems that occur in Normal Solar Thermal Hot water systems has been solved with the new Sun Bandit. No Pumps, No Plumbing, No Freeze Issues for those that worry about those things!
The benefits for those that live in a freeze prone area are very obvious. Many Homeowners have wanted to install solar hot water but had experienced issues with panel freezes or related plumbing issues.
Even though in recent years these issues have been successfully addressed, the introduction of PV powered hot water is the answer to many that have been waiting.
The concept is simple. PV Panels create DC power, and this power can be concentrated thru an AC inverter directly into the heating element on the tank.
There are some other PV systems on the market that suggest using direct DC current to the element. This is not a good idea for a few reasons. With existing building and electrical codes in place, the PV current coming from the inverter needs to be changed to AC power, and the Sun Bandit's design has taken care of this.
Since the Thermostat controls designed for water heaters on the market are already UL approved, and in ready supply, it makes sense to power with AC Power. Using DC Current directly is NOT RECOMMENDED.
Second, with the existing AC thermostats comes years of technology that work flawlessly in controlling temperature from the top to the bottom of the tank. It does require reversing the jobs of the normal two thermostats however, since with the Solar PV you want to make the bottom element the primary heating source.
Also, many building codes still require a grid ties electric element to still be functioning to pass inspection. I won't get into that, but the answer from Sun Bandit is to simple install MORE Elements...
Currently, Sun Bandit has two basic size solar tanks, 80 and 120 gallon units. The 80 gallon will support about 1000 watts, or 4 Solar PV Panels mounted on the roof. This will create an average of 60 gallons of hot water per day from these panels.
Obviously, if it is cloudy, or at night, the system will revert back to the grid tied back up element that is fed from the homes electric panel.
The 120 Gallon Tank will support 8-12 panels, or up to 3kw of input. The math shows that these panels will produce 120 plus gallons of hot water per day, and the larger solar tank will maintain this temp with no problem.
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Solar Thermal Hot Water System
Here is the Normal Setup for the modern Solar Thermal Hot Water System here in Central Florida. We install very modern designed plastic & aluminum collectors that will not rot or rust.
Over the years, the roof mounted collector technology has greatly improved, so there is no need to store the large amounts of water on the roof. The current collector systems now only hold about 2 gallons on the roof, and there are many redundant safety features that keep the system from freezing.
We have a general base line here in Fl that determines potential freeze issues. In general, we consider that any home north of Ocala must have active freeze control products installed .
Here below is the most common defense to keep the system from freezing. It's called the Auto Drain Back system, and this drains the roof mounted collectors every night.
All in all, this is now a pretty bullet proof system, and there are thousands of happy customers with this type of system here in Fla.
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