Solar water heaters (SWHs) are a well-established renewable energy technology that have been widely adopted around the world. In this study we have significantly improved the Evacuated Tube solar Collectors (ETCs) by utilizing the “dry-drawable” Carbon Nanotube (CNT) sheet coatings to increase the solar energy absorption and Phase Change Materials (PCMs) to increase the heat accumulation for application in solar water heaters. The proposed solar collector utilizes a phase change material namely Octadecane paraffin, with melting temperatures of 28°C which is categorized as non-toxic with long-term chemical stability PCM. As PCMs particularly in powder form may not be effective by itself due to the poor heat transfer rate, low thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity, by combining CNT layers with the high thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity compare to phase change materials, we are able to overcome the shortcomings of PCMs and design an innovative and efficient solar water heater. With the current technology, we can provide a near ideal black body surface, absorbing a maximum of 98%, between 600–1100 nm, of solar light striking the surface, and providing additional spectral absorption which improves the performance of the solar heater. Applying CNT sheets in conjunction with PCM enables heat storage directly on the collector for a more constant output, even on a cloudy day and prolonged output of heat at night.

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