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Flat Plate Solar Collector
An Alberta farmer-inventor says he's come up with a new design for flat plate solar collectors that he says eliminates the biggest problem people have had with solar heating systems in the past.
  Harold Verburg says a typical closed-loop system continuously circulates an anti-freeze solution through the collector panels. The problem is that it's hard to shut them down in the summer since the fluid is continuously exposed to the sun. When the anti-freeze fails, it becomes acidic and somewhat sludgy, and can damage components. So, many people set up solar panels based on what they need in the summer, not the winter.
  Verburg came up with a new "drainback" idea that allows fluid to drain out of the collector when the pump stops. "This eliminates the stagnation of the fluid. It also eliminates freezing of the fluid during winter when the pump stops. The biggest advantage is you can add as many collectors as required for the winter load and not be concerned with getting rid of all the excess heat generated in the summer. The system is self limiting and requires virtually no maintenance. And, we can use distilled water which is cheaper and less of a hassle to use."
  The drainback system is electronically controlled, connected to thermostats. Verburg heats his shop and domestic hot water.
  He has ten 4 by 8-ft. panels on his shop wall that heat the 3,000-sq. ft. building. A 12-gal. drainback tank is located inside the building.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harold Verburg, Trimline Design Centre, Inc., P.O. Box 3177, Leduc, Alberta, Canada T9E 6L9 (ph 780 387-5857; cell ph 780 953-2203; email: harold.verburg@trimlinedesigncentre

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #1