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The project design consists of an aluminum frame to support the solar collector tubes and copper manifold assembly.  Heat is collected by the tubes that are under vacuum, which allows for pure irradiant heat transfer, and no heat is lost due to conduction to the environment.  The inner copper insert within each tube drives the collected heat towards the manifold at the top.  The manifold has a constant circulation of water pumped through it, so the heat from the sun can be transferred to the water through copper to copper conduction.  Thermal paste was added within the manifold to aid in this heat transfer, much like a heat sink in a computer.  The circulated water can then be used to heat a tank of water or be driven through a heat exchanger within a ducted air space to transfer the heat stored in the water to air that can be used to condition a space.

Solar Water Heater

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