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Photovoltaic Powered Pumping and Control of a Drainback Solar Thermal System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  077061.(doi:10.13031/2013.23076)
Authors:   James H Dontje
Keywords:   Solar energy, solar hot water heating, photovoltaic pumping, renewable energy

A direct photovoltaic (PV)-pumped solar thermal drainback system was designed and constructed to provide residential domestic hot water. Design details and rationale are presented here along with testing and performance data that verify the performance of the PV-pumping scheme. This system is shown to incorporate benefits of direct PV-pumping (no parasitic energy requirement, simple controls) with the performance of a drainback system. In the system tested, 200-300 W/m2 of insolation on the collector was sufficient to initiate flow to the collectors. Other advantages and limitations of this system are also discussed.

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