Question:Is your greenhouse
or sunspace too hot during the day and too cold at
Answer:Add thermal mass with Sun-lite®
Thermal Storage Tubes.
Water contained in low cost,
non-pressurized cylinders has proven to be the most practical and
effective approach to the capture and storage of thermal energy for
space and hot water heating. Water stores 3 to 4 times as many
BTU's per lb. as rock or masonry. It also releases
this heat energy faster when you really need it. With
over 35,000 units in use worldwide, Sun-Lite® Solar Storage
Tubes are the most efficient and cost effective way to store solar
thermal energy and keep your greenhouse or sunspace cooler in the
summer and warmer in the winter.
How do they work?
Sun-lite® Thermal Storage Tubes work by absorbing
the excess heat energy generated in your greenhouse or sunpace
during the day and releasing it at night to effectively control the
large temperature swings between day and night. Think of them
as heat sinks. The cooler you can keep your greenhouse or
sunpace during the day the less heat you lose through your
glazing or window areas. The stored heat in the
tubes through simple
thermo-dynamics will automatically release itself into the
space when the air temperature drops below the water temperature in
the tubes. No moving parts.
How many do I need?
The general rule of thumb is 2 to 3 gallons of
water per each sq. ft. of south facing glazing. An example is if
your greenhouse has a south facing wall that is 12' long x 8' high
you would need somewhere between 192 to 288 gallons of
water. In this example four to six 12" diameter x 8'
tall tubes would work, or you could use any combination of the sizes
that we offer. See specification chart at the bottom of
the page. We can also make custom heights to fit your
Low cost containers designed to be the most
economical per gallon of storage;
Containers transmit natural daylight;
Wide selection of diameters and heights
available to compliment any design;
Corrosion free fiberglass construction;
Faster usable B.T.U. gain in 60% less space
and 80% less weight than with rock or masonry;
Self supporting containers require only
flat, level floor;
Easy to install or remove; largest tubes
weigh less than 20 lbs. empty!
The Solar Storage Tubes can be used in
residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural
applications. Designs based on the following concepts have
been proven to provide up to 100% of space heating and hot
water needs depending upon climate and site
Direct Gain Water
Installed adjacent to a solar window, the
tubes absorb solar energy, store the energy, and transmit
natural daylight. The tubes temper both the heat and light
from the sun by removing the wide temperature fluctuations
common to other direct gain systems, and by reducing glare
from the solar window to workable levels.
The tubes may be filled with dyed water to
increase absorption efficiency and to provide design
Direct Gain Vertical
A direct gain design can be modified to
separate the Solar Storage Tubes from the adjacent heated
space to provide more control over heat gain. movable or
fixed, opaque or light transmitting partitions are employed,
depending upon design requirements. Heat built up in storage
is extracted by natural convection and/or a low power
Wall application: Solar Storage Tubes
are positioned adjacent to a multi-layered solar window with
high solar transmision and good insulation such as our
Sun-Lite Glazing Panels. In
very cold climates, movable insulation should be considered,
analyzing the trade offs between additional costs and B.T.U.'s
Direct Gain Sloped
The Solar Storage Tubes are normally filled
with black dye in this configuration and placed vertically.
Air for heat extraction flows either horizontally or
vertically over the tubes. A wall application provides natural
shading in the summer to reduce overheating.
Floor Loading Lbs.
Floor Loading Lbs.
(20° Rise (BTU)
Per Lin. Ft.
Per. Sq. Ft.
Solar Storage Tubes
Diameters vary slightly for nesting during