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Poll: Solar thermal: evac tube or flat plate?
Evacuated tube
Flat plate
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Solar Thermal: Evac Tube vs Flat Plate?
13-05-2008, 02:04 PM
Post: #1
Solar Thermal: Evac Tube vs Flat Plate?
I understand that there are a lot of benefits of evacuated tube collectors over flat plate, particularly in how efficient they are, and how they more accurately match the typical UK hot water demands in terms of generation.

However, other than the obvious increased expense over flat plate, my main concern is vulnerability of the tubes to malicious vandalism/other damage. Does anyone have an opinion as to whether this concern is valid? Does anyone have any experience of installations suffering damage?

Or can anyone convince me that flat plate collectors are the better option all round?!
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27-06-2008, 06:57 PM
Post: #2
RE: Solar Thermal: Evac Tube vs Flat Plate?
We have been using Evac Tube and it's no problems with that.
I can't answer why Flat Plate is better...
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30-06-2008, 06:27 PM
Post: #3
RE: Solar Thermal: Evac Tube vs Flat Plate?
Anyone else?
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26-01-2009, 01:01 AM
Post: #4
RE: Solar Thermal: Evac Tube vs Flat Plate?
Better in what respect? Here is one answer. You can see which side of the fence I am (usually) on, as a solar supplier myself.

Tubes are far better in that their shapes look sexy -well, to some people. And they usually make more money for the salespeople per unit of energy delivered. They may even be more efficient per sq metre of absorber itself, so some claim that they will cover a few % less of your roof. Does that matter? Why pay extra to see some roof tiles? Why not pay for a painting to hang on your wall. Tubes are not just solar's sexy bodies to some, they also get hotter, (wow) some up to 300C so they are better if you like to shower in superheated water. Seriously, though - this actually makes them better for some industrial applications.

Flat plates solar panels are better in that they are less ugly to some people. Some are designed to deliver hot water more at temperatures that the user really needs, and not to boil except in fault conditions and to have no need for mains power to run them and to freeze without cracking. They are nearly always lighter which can be good for DIY solar installers. Some now have polymer glazing so there is no risk of glass faling into your garden as has happened catastophically with the now discontinued Schott evacuated tubes. They are often more cost-effective too. More, but with an arguably commercial bias is at:

http://www.solartwin.com/PDF/Best_practice.pdf
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