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Evacuated Tubes
Flat Plate Collectors
Basic System Layout
Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors are hermetically sealed within a vacuum sealed glass tube. This eliminates convection and conduction heat losses, and also isolates the collectors from any adverse weather conditions outside.
These collectors are built within a solid, sealed case, and covered with a tough tempered glass facing which helps to protect them
from the elements. However, the air gap within the collector can lead to conduction and convection heat losses, especially on cold and windy days.
Heat Loss Protection
Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors use a heat pipe for super-efficient conduction and transfer. No water ever touches the solar collectors, eliminating corrosion and effi ciency losses.
Flat Plate Solar Collectors circulated water through insulated areas within the collector. This makes them more prone to leakage,
corrosion, and restricted flow.

Heating
System Type

The heat pipe of an evacuated tube solar collector is safeguarded from overheating by the conduction properties of the special heating fl uid within it. This overheat protection keeps your system safe from accidental
heat damage.
Flat Plate Solar Collectors have no internal overheat protection methods in place, and rely solely on exterior overheat limitors. If these methods fail, damage can occur to the system.
Ease of Installation
Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors are easy to install, and can be carried to the job site, and onto the roof in pieces for a lighter, easier workload. Additionally, if one tube becomes damaged, only that tube needs to be replaced.
Flat Plate Collectors must be installed in one solid unit, and must be brought to the jobsite
and onto the roof that way. Also, when a portion of a collector fails, the entire collector must be shut down and replaced.

System Design
& Placement

Because of their 360 degree collector
design, evacuated tube solar collectors are relatively adept at accepting most installation angles. This allows for more
freedom and aesthetics in the system design and installation.
Flat Plate Collectors, like PV Panels, need to be placed directly at 12 degrees off south, and at
roughly the same angle as the location's latitude. This means there are far fewer options for the installation, and aesthetics
must often be sacrifi ced in order to protect performance.
Climate Types
Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors are perfect for nearly any climate, but really shine in northern climates with cooler
temperatures, shorter days, and lower sun angles.
Flat Plate Solar Collectors can be used in most climates, but are signifi cantly more eff ective
in warmer, sunnier, southern climates,
where freezing and solar angle are less likely to impact a solar water heating system.
Investment & Cost Effectiveness
Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors are often more expensive initially that Flat Plate Solar Collectors, but this investment will often be recouped quickly due to the increased performance of these collectors in a wider variety of climates and conditions.
Flat Plate Solar Collectors typically cost less from the outset than Evacuated Tubes. However, the lower performance ratings
in many climates, and increased maintenance and replacement costs mean that they are generally less cost-eff ective than Evacuated Tube Collectors.
We
Recommend

We recommend Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors for our clients anywhere where cold weather, and possible freezing is a significant factor in the weather.
We recommend Flat Plate Solar Collectors to our clients who live in souther climates where
freezing is unlikely, and where solar angles, and the amount of sunlight does not justify the increased investment of an Evacuated Tube Solar Collector.
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