Path Of Clean Energy
The day started with a bus ride to Doddaballapur. We reached the Supreme Solar water heater factory within a few hours. Once we reached it, we were all warmly greeted by the workers and the manager. After which, we divided ourselves into groups of fifteen and explored the whole factory. Each group had a guide who explained the whole process in detail. We noticed that making solar heaters is a large process. A lot of machinery and manpower goes into the making.
It starts with sheets of galvanized steel or aluminum. It is made when steel or aluminum is electroplated with zinc. This avoids rusting and traps heat. Next, a thin coating of liquid glass is added. Then, the sheets are hardened to increase their durability. It moves on to the welding machine, where they are made into rods and holes are punched into. They are used to connect the rods to the heater.
Later on, we moved towards the other side of the factory. Here the outer and inner covers were made for the heater. They were welded into cylindrical structures using the same sheets. Afterward, the tank was filled with water to check air bubbles. The structure is rejected if air bubbles are found because this creates a chance of leakage. Furthermore, insulation is added to the outer cover to make it safe to install. There is a 100-meter gap between the inner and outer cover. Chemicals are added to Isopropyl (liquid), turning it into a foam-like structure. This is placed on the top, to reduce heat loss. Additionally, an in-built heater is added for gloomy weather.
Everything is mostly made through 201-grade stainless steel(mirror-coated). The factory also creates heaters of different volumes. They range from 100LPD to 500LPD(liters per day). Towards the end, bolts are added to fit the stand and a dish cap is used to cover it. Lastly, our guide told us about the different types of methods to make a solar heater. Some of them were, GL(glass line produced), FPC(flat plate collectors), ETC(evacuated tube collectors), and Ceramic method.
GL and ceramic methods are the most durable. They provide a 10-year and 5-year warranty respectively. With this, we concluded our tour. It was certainly a very informative and fun trip. We got to have a close look at the making of solar heaters and understand how it works. Lastly, it gave us an insight into how important renewable energy is, and why we should invest in more eco-friendly options like solar heaters.
Aarna Ponnanna of class XC