Do I need glazing on my solar collectors?

  • Last Post 02 December 2019
Yonny24 posted this 02 December 2019

Hi all,

I have just installed 12m2 of solar collectors on the top of a pergola. (8 panels of 0.5 x 3m)
The panels sit on 2x1 planks with about 2 inch gap between the planks.

We live next to the coast and always seem to have a prevailing wind. Uruguay, South America.
I'm struggling to get sufficient heat from the collectors even on hot days 28-30c.

Would it be worthwhile covering the panels with glazing? I am thinking 4mm Polycarbonate - double wall which is readily available here.

The surface area of the pool is only 11m2.
Pump is 0.5hp (17,000 litres per hour).

I am suspecting the wind across the panels and through the pergola is contributing to significant heat loss even though the sun's rays here are very strong.
We have friends who live in sheltered areas here and have their panels on solid roofs and have much better heating output.

Also, I think the water flow is very high through the 8 panels.


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Yonny24 posted this 02 December 2019

The air temp today is 21c with a fresh breeze.
The surface temp of the garden pavement is about 50c.

Only getting about 0.5c difference between inlet and outlet of the panels

Yonny24 posted this 02 December 2019

Read here that the loose tube type (like mine) are prone to heat loss with windy conditions!

I have purchased some black weaved sheeting to sit underneath to at least block the wind blowing through the tubes before I consider glazing.