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Solar Water Heating

Is there an effective solar water heating system available that could be used on a Dutch barge. Some one mentioned evacuated tube systems. What are these and would they work?

Asked by: Clive Dutson  | 10.27pm, Sunday 10 May

WW says:

A solar water heating system could certainly work on a Dutch barge where there is enough roof area for such a system.
There are two distinct types of solar heat energy collectors; flat plate systems and evacuated tubes which are the most efficient. The tubes are glass with a central tube which is heated by the sun. The liquid in the tube passes the heat through the top connection into the heating system water where it is pumped through a secondary coil in the hot water calorifier.
The tubes do however need to be mounted at an angle of about 30 degrees otherwise the thermo-syphon within each tube will not work. This might make them unsuitable for a boat as it would increase the air draught, although it would be possible to make a collapsible frame with flexible pipe work to allow the tubes to lie flat for cruising (the tubes might need to be covered up in sunny weather to prevent overheating). For this reason the older style of flat plate collector might be better; this could be mounted flat or at a small angle with a temperature sensor to control a pump to harvest the hot water.

Rupert Smedley  | 9.50AM, Monday 11 May

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