Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can Consol Solar Water Heaters be used in cold conditions?

Answer: Yes. The heat tubes and solar collectors can be used in temperatures as low as -25deg Celsius, although performance is reduced in such extreme conditions. Good heat output is still achieved in mild sub-zero conditions.

Question: Will Water be heated on a cloudy day?

Answer: Yes. Although the efficiency of the solar collector is reduced on overcast days it will still be able to heat water for normal use. If it is a heavily clouded day or raining, then gas or electric backup may be required to maintain water at the required temperature. This system will be automated so you don’t have to worry about running out of hot water on a rainy day.

Question: What maintenance of the solar water heater and solar collector is required?

Answer: Under normal circumstances no maintenance of the system is required. Due to the shape of the tubes regular rainfall and wind should keep the tubes clean. Should a tube become broken it should be replaced. This, however, is an inexpensive and easy job. Any “handy” person can install a new tube. Normal heat  tube solar water heaters and solar collectors can operate with several broken tubes.

Question: Can CONSOL Solar Collectors be used for a large-scale hot water production?

Answer: Definitely. Solar water heaters and solar collectors can be connected in series to provide large scale hot water production for commercial settings such as a school, hotel, office building etc. There is really no limit to the size of the system!

Question: Are Vacuum Tube Collectors more efficient than flat panel collectors?

Answer: On average, yes. Vacuum tube collectors are superior to flat panel collectors in a number of ways.

1. Due to the cylindrical shape of the vacuum tube, the sun is perpendicular to the surface of the glass for most of the day. Flat panel collectors have the disadvantage that the sun is only perpendicular to the collector at noon and thus a proportion of the sunlight striking the surface of the collector is likely to be reflected.

2. As the name suggests, air is evacuated from the vacuum tube to form a vacuum. This greatly reduces conductive and convective heat loss from the interior of the tube. As a result wind and cold temperatures have minimal effect on the efficiency of the evacuated tube collector.

3. CONSOL Solar Vacuum tube collectors can often be used in subzero temperatures without the system sustaining damage. Flat systems often require expensive and complicated “antifreeze” systems to be installed.

4. Vacuum Tubes are strong, long lasting, and should one be broken, inexpensive and easy to replace.

5. Due to the high efficiency absorption of solar radiation even during overcast conditions, combined with excellent insulation properties of the tube, vacuum tube collectors will heat water all year round (automatic backup may required for particularly overcast or rainy weather).

6. Due to the various advantages of vacuum tube collector over flat panel collectors, a smaller collector can be used to provide the same heating performance. For example, a standard household of 3-4 people would usually require a 200-250L water storage tank. Depending on your location, only 2.1 – 2.8 square metres of evacuated tube surface area would be required to efficiently heat this volume of water.

7. Flat panel solar collector can produce similar heat output to vacuum tube collector, but generally only during warm, still, sunny conditions. When averaged over an entire year, vacuum tube collector heat output per net m2 of collector area is superior to flat panel.

Question: How much installation work is usually required?

Answer: CONSOL SOLAR System is designed to minimize installation cost. In most houses only one working day is required to complete the installation.

Question: What happens if the Tubes get broken?

Answer: Evacuated tubes are not easy to break. If they do it will not prevent the unit from working. Replacing them is easy and cheap.

Question: What happens in the winter when the sun does not shine?

Answer: Compared to ordinary solar collector the evacuated tube has a much faster start up time and can absorb radiation even under overcast weather conditions.

Tel: +64 (0)3 982 0738      |      E-mail: info@consolsolar.co.nz      |      Mob: +64 (0)21 982 073

Tel: +64 (0)3 982 0738

E-mail: info@consolsolar.co.nz

Mob: +64 (0)21 982 073