Solar hot water collecting systems are used to heat water through the solar heat. Sunlight is captured by solar panels and it used to generate power that heats the water. There are basically three types of solar hot water collecting systems. These systems are flat plate, evacuated tubes and integral collector system (ICS).
Why ICS is Different from Other Collectors?
Integral collector systems are different from other collectors because in these systems water itself work as a collector. On the other hand, flat plate and evacuated tubes collector use metal for heat transfer. Integral collector stores water in tanks that are painted black and these tanks absorb heat from the sun and then heat the water for domestic use.
Boxes & Tanks Used in ICS
The tanks that are used in integral collector systems are placed in a box with glazing that is done on at least one side these tanks that transfers solar radiations. In certain form of integral collector systems, black metal tubes are also used instead of the glazed tanks, but both are doing the same work. Water in these tanks or tubes is drawn from the tanks that are placed on the top where it is heated at first time.
ICS For Small Hot Water Needs
Luckily, homeowners can opt for building their own integral collector systems for the smaller domestic use. However, still there is a need of more sophisticated versions of these integral collector systems that can be made at home. This improvement is necessary to provide complete support to the water needs of an average family.
In do-it-yourself integral collector systems, water is cooled overnight and then it is heated back up so it can be used during the day time. Integral collector systems that are more complicated draw cool water from the house and then these systems heat the cool water, after that this water is sent back to the house for immediate use. This is quite feasible for small water domestic needs.
Water Capacity of Integral Collector Systems
Integral collector systems are usually capable of store at least 30 to 50 gallons of water. The water tanks of integral collector systems require strong back up system. During colder climatic conditions, passive integral collector system may not function properly due to the freezing of pipes and water in the tank, so integral collector systems can be beneficial for only certain seasons.
On the whole, integral collector systems are feasible for fulfilling the domestic needs of hot need. These systems can be made at home and anybody can easily prepare these systems, as you don’t need to be expert to build you own integral collector system. However, there is a drawback of these systems and that is they may not work properly during cold climate when the temperature falls below freezing point. It is because pipes and water in these tanks are apt to freeze due to extreme weather conditions.