Sizing the storage tank for a solar water heater system

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Sizing the storage tank for a solar water heater system


I am sizing a solar water system and I am trying to find the perfect match between the collectors area and the storage volume. For large designs professionals seem to recommend that storage volume should always be greater than the site's average daily use. In regions with considerable sunlight, they also advise a 2 gallons increase in storage every square foot of net aperture area, in order to prevent the system for overheating during peak hours.

Through SAM I find that I can decrease my storage volume to less than half of the daily consumption and still have a solar fraction of 80%, with a reasonable amount of collectors. How is the system able to provide hot water with such a small tank and with a good solar fraction ? What about the possibility of overheating ?

Thank you for your help.

Paul Gilman

Dear Ronan,

SAM does not account for overheating, but you can plot hourly temperatures at different points in the system to verify that they do not exceed any limits you might want to impose on your design.

You can also explore the hourly outputs of the model to see how it is able to meet the hot water requirement given the available solar resource.

Best regards,

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