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Case study added: 2006-10-27 00:07:44
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by Genersys
Date added: 2006-10-15 17:44:35 Filesize: 171
A Thermo-siphon solar system in Cyrpus, converting light into energy it provides the home with free hot water heating.
Date added: 2006-10-15 17:44:35 Filesize: 93
This thermo siphon system in Kato Amiandes, Limasol District, Cyprus, has the cylinder mounted above the panels, in order to allow gravity to feed the heat into the cylinder. This is a cost effective system in places where potential wind damage is very unlikely to happen.
Date added: 2006-10-15 17:44:35 Filesize: 70
Thermo siphon system in Kato Amiandes, Limasol District, Cyprus.
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A look at the widespread use of simple but effective solar systems in Cyprus, and the possibile applications they could bring to the UK.

If you look out of the plane window as your holiday flight is about to land at Larnaca or Paphos in Cyprus, you will see that virtually every house has a thermo-siphon system, which is simply a way of water heating. There are usually a collection of solar panels and sometimes a random collection of tanks on the roof. Cyprus has more solar systems per capita than any other European country. It can use its predictable and strong sunshine to provide almost all its hot water needs.

Thermo-siphon systems work very simply. A solar panel, usually with a simple painted absorber plate, converts light into heat. The heat transfers into the water tank on the roof and heats the water, usually by a heat exchange outer coil in the tank. Sometimes the potable water flows through the tank. The installation is usually simplicity itself, with the domestic cold water being taken by one pipe into the roof and the hot water drawn from another pipe in the roof.

Cost is a critical factor and many of these systems have a “heath-Robinson” look about them but they do provide hot or warm water, and people tend to make do with and get used to what they have, rather than thinking about what they can get.

These thermo-siphon systems will work in the UK – for about three months of the year, depending on weather. Another problem with UK installations is the wind – countries like Cyprus and Israel do not have the same potential for gales as the United Kingdom. Also, there are far fewer flat roofs on our own housing stock, so installation can be more complex.

The better quality thermo-siphon systems come with solar panels that are selectively coated – using either aluminium or copper coating. These provide much better performance and much hotter water temperatures. In Greece, for example, a good quality thermo-siphon system with selective coating will recharge a two hundred litre tank in less than three hours and can provide tank temperatures in excess of 80° Celsius although the norm is around 60°C. These thermo-siphon systems can have excellent performance criteria in hot countries and at Genersys we will be conducting tests to see if their UK applications can extend to caravan sites, holiday camps and similar “summer only” uses.

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