Does this product only function on a sunny day?
Solar water heaters do not require brilliantly sunny conditions to operate. Cloudless days do offer a better solar resource than cloudy days, but a solar water heater will still produce a considerable amount of heat on a fully overcast day. Some solar radiation always reaches the Earth’s surface, regardless of cloud cover.
Will the contents of the collector(s) freeze in cold weather?
The natural benefit of an evacuated tube is its resistance to heat loss. Of the 3 forms of heat transfer (conduction, convection, and radiation), only radiation can transfer heat across a vacuum. The vacuum layer of our tubes allows solar radiation to cross the distance but prevents the resulting heat from escaping. The only heat loss comes from the bottom frame of the units, and GLE Solar insulates the pipe housing to maintain the temperature. Even in the worst winter weather conditions, the tube contents should only lose 35oF overnight, which is not enough to freeze.
Aren’t evacuated tube systems notorious for overheating?
GLE Solar does not provide a standard evacuated tube product. Typical evacuated tube collectors are used with indirect, closed-loop systems, in which small volumes of water constantly remain in the tubes. That small amount of water heats rapidly. Without adequate control coordination with the glycol-infused heat transfer loop, these systems have been known to produce boiling or near-boiling temperatures that damage the integrity of the tube and cause calcification.
Our collectors are designed to circulate large amounts of water through the tubes. Due to the volume of the water reservoirs, excessive temperatures could not occur in a single day. If the collector remains unused for a long period of time and the temperature continues to build, our controller will sense the problem and circulate cooler water through the system or trigger the emergency pressure release valve.
Do I have to worry about hail breaking the tubes?
With a typical angled collector, falling hail would make direct contact with a flat plate or tube. All of the energy of that collision transfers to the collector, which can stress, crack, or break a traditional collector, depending on the size of the hail. The vertical design of GLE Solar products offers an advantage over the competition, because the top of the frame protects the evacuated tubes from a direct downward collision. The only contact between hail and our collector tubes would come from a sharp angle, which would only result in a glancing blow with miniscule threat of damage.
We manufacture our collector tubes with an outer layer of borosilicate glass that is twice as thick as most competitors, which makes our products capable of withstanding any ordinary conditions. It would take an extraordinary event (deliberate abuse, careless accident, act of God, etc.) to damage the tubes.
What if an extraordinary and unpredictable event does break a tube?
If this happens, simply contact your local GLE representative for an affordable replacement tube. The tubes fit over the stainless steel water reservoirs, so they do not directly contain water. The unit will continue to operate with a broken tube, although the efficiency and insulation will be reduced until the tube is replaced.