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Air Collector
Self-sufficient air collector system.
Self-sufficient air collector system.

Air collector technology is a part of solar thermics. Distinguishing it from water collectors, the thermal carrier is air. The heat absorbed from solar radiation heats the air moving through the collector. Circulation is ensured through a ventilator. Air collector systems are used to support heating and ventilation of residential and holiday homes, chalets or halls. Generally they are mounted on the roof, however, they can also be integrated into façades or can be erected on the ground.

Either fresh air from outside is sucked into the collector and warmed there or an air circulation system withdraws air from the building and then leads it through the collector. The heated air is then transferred to the living area by way of a pipe system to support heating and ventilation.

Alternatively, the strongly heated air can transfer its heat through a heat exchanger to other storage units, such as water reservoirs or stone storages. Through the higher storage capacity of these units, heat can be made available to the living area continuously over a longer period.

In Central Europe it is possible to heat the entire living area only with an air collector system in spring and autumn. Conventional heating systems will not be required. In newly erected buildings, the collector and the pipe system can be integrated into the building construction, in existing buildings the fitting of the ventilation pipes and the assembly of the collector must be individually planned.

The thermal carrier air, as opposed to water, cannot be brought to boil by overheating. Thus damage to the system through overheating can be eliminated. Any leakages that may occur in a ventilation pipe have less significant effects than the breaking of a water pipe.

Self-sufficient air collector systems, as they are offered, for example, by the company Grammer Solar GmbH (TWINSOLAR) constitute a specialised product. Here the ventilator is driven with the electricity that is produced by a photovoltaic module that is directly integrated into the collector. No connection to the grid is required to run the system. The use of such a stand-alone system is ideal for chalets in mountainous regions or holiday homes that are not continuously used. Here the system ensures temperature and moisture control without incurring any energy costs.

Further information

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