Thermodynamic Panels are said to be the latest technology breakthrough in renewable energy and are capable of providing the average family constant hot water all day, every day – irrespective of the weather conditions.
Inside the panel is a circulation system, these ‘capillary’ like tubes contain a special fluid (almost like anti-freeze) and it is this fluid that circulates around the panel and absorbs heat from the surrounding atmosphere (working like a reverse fridge).
The fluid turns to gas when it heats up and then the gas is compressed which makes it even hotter. The resulting hot gas is circulated through a heat exchanger fitted to a water cylinder and heats up the water inside.
Thermo dynamic panels can absorb energy from every surface, not just the side that faces the sun and this helps to improve the efficiency. Estimates put it that over 50% of the absorbed energy is drawn from the surrounding air, not the sun.
Solar thermal panels depend greatly upon sunlight and so they don’t produce hot water 24hrs per day. Because thermodynamic units utilise the surrounding air and solar radiation they stand to be a lot more efficient than traditional thermal flat plate & evacuated tube collectors.
They don’t depend as much on the orientation as other solar panels, but fitting them in a well lighted area will give you optimum performance e.g. facing a southerly direction.