Side-by-side tests of two small low flow SDHW systems based on mantle tanks have been carried out under the same test conditions in a laboratory test facility. The systems are identical with exception of the mantle tanks. One of the mantle tanks has the mantle inlet port located at the top of the mantle and the other mantle tank has the mantle inlet port moved 0.175 m down from the top of the mantle. The thermal performance is almost the same for the two systems in the measuring period of 252 days. The solar fractions were 0.66 and 0.68 for the two systems. The tests showed also that the system with the low mantle inlet perform better than the system with the high mantle inlet in periods with low solar fractions, that is in less sunny periods. Further, calculations with a simulation model for low flow SDHW systems based on mantle tanks showed that mantle tanks currently marketed can be greatly improved by relatively simple design changes: increasing the height/diameter ratio, reducing the mantle height and increasing the insulation thickness on the sides of t he tank.
International Journal of Energy Research, 2006, Vol 30, Issue 12, p. 955-965