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Thread: parabolic trough for water heating

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Cobra007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Question parabolic trough for water heating

    hi everyone, I'm designing a solar heating system for a small building (a 4 or 5 story building max), and like the title says, i'm considering using a small parabolic trough instead of the flat plate collectors to minimize costs and space needed.
    so is it a good idea? what will be the advantages and disadvantages?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    The best ones have a motorized system to keep the parabola facing the sun at all times. This requires two sensors, with a "wall" between them mounted on the parabola, to determine how to position it so both sensors "see" the same amount of light. Usually the motor is programmed to "park" at the morning position when the system shuts down for the day. They also work best on a South facing roof. I have never seen a "horizontal" parabolic collector, so I am not sure what their efficiency would be.


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