Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Richard D. Wilk




renewable, energy, construction, thermal, solar


In an effort to make Union College a more environmentally friendly campus, this research project focuses on the application of Union’s liquid-based solar thermal collector system. The motivation for this research project is due to the increasing demand for renewable energy sources in order to decrease our society’s dependence on fossil fuels. The system features nine, 16-tube, evacuated tube solar modules which absorb radiant solar energy from the sun. Through a two loop system, thermal energy is stored in water within two-80 gallon storage tanks. This research project involves the design, construction, and analysis of two applications in order to utilize the systems 80 MJ of daily thermal output. The two applications constructed are for both air and water heating purposes. The first application involves a liquid-air heat exchanger which is used to provide space heating. The second application involves a liquid-liquid heat exchanger, creating a boiler water pre-heat system. By utilizing the availability of solar energy, these applications will decrease Union College’s carbon footprint.