The solar thermal hot water revolution
AO Smith has produced a high performance system consisting of solar thermal panels feeding into an SGE or SGS condensing gas water heater, with an intelligent control system to optimise energy use and minimise energy costs.
Each of the system elements communicates directly with the single controller resulting in up to 40% extra solar contribution.
For example, if solar input is low the pump speed can be modulated down to 15% of nominal speed, maximising the free energy available from the sun.
But where the AO Smith solution differs from other solar water heating systems is by using a patented drain-back system on the solar panels.
Mounted directly below the solar collector, the drain-back system avoids stagnation where the heat transfer fluid can overheat and start to break down.
There is also no need to activate the pump to get rid of excess heat when hot water demand is low, and no need to build in an oversized storage system to cope with excess heat.
The heat transfer fluid in the panels is not pressurised, and when there is no hot water demand and the pump switches off, all the heat transfer fluid drains back into the drain-back reservoir mounted below the panels.
Because no fluid remains in the collector, it cannot be damaged by overheating or freezing. AO Smith's solar panels are linked with either its SGE or SGS gas - solar condensing water heaters. Both units incorporate low NOx down-firing burners and are exceptionally quiet in operation.
The SGS heater carries an Energy Performance Certificated value of 96.1% including standing losses and electrical usage.
The SGE is the smaller 'all-in-one' unit, with an integral solar coil. It has a very compact footprint, making it ideal for medium sized commercial applications where space is restricted.
Available in a choice of two models, outputs range from 42.8kW to 60.4kW.
The larger SGS is designed for larger commercial and industrial applications, with seven models providing up to 121.8kW output, and is always combined with an indirect tank up to 3000 litres.
Both the SGE and SGS use AO Smith's unique patented glass lining process.
The AO Smith solar panels and water heater are supplied as a complete and integrated system, with commissioning carried out by fully trained technical staff.
An MCS accredited installation service is also available to ensure RHI grants can be accessed.
15 August 2013