Solar Energy: Your Questions and Answers


SolarUK: Glossary


Any pipe with several outlets to or from other pipes, or a junction of pipes.

In a vacuum tube collector, the energy absorbed by the collecting surface is trapped by the vacuum inside the collector tube. Energy is extracted by a manifold of pipe work containing the heat transfer fluid. This manifold passes in and out of each collector tube and the flows and returns from all tubes in a single panel (9 tubes) which are in series.

Collectors in each array are collated by a manifold, so that all pipe work from collectors are grouped to a single pair of flow and return pipes. The manifold design inside the LaZer2 collector is particularly efficient because it is a direct flow, serial manifold. This means the heat transfer fluid is directly heated by the collector surface rather than via another exchange stage and that it passes in and out of each tube in succession.

The advantage of a direct flow, ‘serial’ manifold is that the transfer solution passes through each vacuum tube in series rather than in and out of a single tube, making it move faster while prolonging the period of time it spends inside the collector; this improves the heat transfer from collector to the heat transfer fluid.

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Other Associated glossary terms : Commercial

Solar Thermal
The collection of the sun's energy as heat rather than converting it to electricity.

Vacuum Tube Solar Collector
This is a technology that uses a glass tube, think of a long thermos flask to insulate the solar collector and ensure that effectively all solar energy is retained.

Feed in Tariff
A method to reward the producer of renewable energy (electricity) by paying a fixed amount of money for each unit of electricity generated.

Recirculation - pumped secondary
Pipework carrying secondary hot water.

Sequential heating arrangement
The heating that occurs as the solar thermal system heats the water before the conventional heat source provides any necessary additional heating.

Heat store
Stores the suns energy as heat captured by the collector.

Refers to any period when the heat transfer fluid is not circulating, even though the solar panel is receiving the suns energy.

Primary and secondary systems
This refers to the water travelling round the boiler and the water in the cylinder which is heated by it.

Stratification / de-stratification
The layering of hot water on colder water.

Expansion vessel
A trapped volume of pressurised air or gas inside a steel vessel to allow for the expansion that accompanies temperature increases.

Buffer vessel
A tank storing heated water in anticipation of variable demand requirements.

Pre-feed cylinder
A cylinder placed between the cold water feed and the existing hot water cylinder.

Any pipe with several outlets to or from other pipes, or a junction of pipes.

A water storage vessel, which has the capability to increase the temperature of the water contained within it.

The controller compares the different temperatures at specific locations in the solar systems circuit.

Circulation module / Pump module
Operates the heat transfer system.

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