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Three-way valves exist that can use city water pressure to reprime the system; otherwise pumps must be used. Some drainback systems only drain the water to a small tank near the collectors thus requiring only a small additional pump. Heat exchangers may be required to separate potable water from nonpotable water. b. Heat Tapes - Electric resistance heat tapes are thermostatically activated to heat the water. This scheme requires extra energy and is not completely reliable. Insertion of heat tapes into preconstructed collectors may be difficult.

A brief description follows. 1 Evacuated-tube collectors. Figure 2-8 shows an evacuated-tube collector. This type of collector uses a vacuum between the absorber and the glass outer tube to significantly reduce convection and conduction heat losses. Evacuated-tube collectors operate essentially the same as flat-plate collectors. Solar radiation passes through the outer glass tube and is absorbed by the coated absorber. Heat energy is transferred to fluid flowing through the absorber. Most evacuated-tube designs collect both direct and diffuse radiation efficiently, but certain types are specifically designed for more efficient collection of direct radiation.

Generally the standards state that the heat transfer fluid must be nonionic, high dielectric, nonreactive, noncorrosive, nonflammable and stable with temperature and time. If the fluid is toxic it may be used only in systems specially designed for it as will be explained later. The National Bureau of Standards (1980), Ref - DOE Solar Heating Materials Handbook, has proposed the following criteria to reduce the risk of fire in the use of solar heat transfer fluids: The flash point of the liquid heat transfer fluid shall equal or exceed the highest temperature determined from (a), (b), and (c) below: a.

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