We installed twenty vacuum tube solar thermal collectors at the Wash n’ Go Car Wash, located at 4000 Dundas St West in Toronto. The system pre-heats process hot water used for washing cars. The project was supported with a grant from NRCan’s REDI program.
The collectors are mounted on the south facing wall in two banks of ten collectors at a 45 degree angle. This angle allows them to catch both summer and winter sunshine, and corresponds with Toronto’s location at 43.7 degrees north latitude. The vacuum tube allows energy to be collected in winter, protecting the propylene glycol heat exchange fluid from losing heat to the colder ambient air. These vacuum tubes features a glass to glass seal, so that the vacuum cannot be lost unless the individual tube is broken.
The glass is high strength borosilicate glass, rated to withstand a 1 inch hailstone impacting the collector at a 90 degree angle. If a tube does break, it is individually replaceable. Tube replacement takes about ten minutes.
Wash N’ Go customers can’t fail to miss the point that they’re using solar pre-heated water. The collectors are located right over their heads.The owner expects to increase traffic to his business. Customers want to use renewable energy, but until he installed this system, there was no solar car wash in the area.