Solar thermal collectors are excellent at melting ice, only marginally good at producing heat
The reliability of a solar thermal system is greatly affected by seasonal variation, environmental conditions and location of installation. Highest heating loads are present during the winter months when outdoor temperatures are freezing, skies are cloudy, and days are short.
Unfortunately, this is exactly when solar thermal collectors are least effective–when they are needed the most. Much like geothermal energy, solar thermal collectors lack the ability to use environmental conditions to it’s advantage.
A Thermal Battery System maximizes efficiency and capacity of solar thermal collectors, yielding a quicker return on investment for the homeowner.
Instead of producing heat, Thermal Battery Systems uses solar collectors on the load side to “melt ice” that has formed on the internal heat exchanger inside the thermal battery.
Current solar applications need temperatures to reaches 100°F to collect and distribute heat. During the latent phase, when ice is building on the heat exchanger, the battery temperature hovers around 32°F. Since heat will only and always move to cold, the thermal battery eagerly accepts lower temperatures from the solar collectors. The “perfect” temperature to apply solar is no longer 100°F, but 67° lower at 33°F–and anywhere in between!
When solar thermal melts ice on the internal heat exchanger the latent “hidden” phase of fusion is prolonged. The “magic” continues for a longer period of time.
Solar efficiency exceeds 100%.
The solar array becomes an ambient energy interface and can react to the energy around it, creating efficiency greater than 100%. When the outdoor temperature is greater than the thermal battery (sink), the collector can absorb the heat and deliver it to the battery–no sun required.
Night time functionality.
Since solar rays are no longer needed for the solar collector to perform, only an acceptable Delta T, night time functionality is a possibility.