parabolic trough for water heating

Discussion in 'Solar and Geothermal Water Heating Forum' started by Cobra007, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. Cobra007

    Cobra007 New Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 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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