Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Byard Wood


Byard Wood


Heng Ban


Robert Spall


Solar energy in a variety of applications is again becoming more widely used. Solar collectors have been installed during the construction of two Utah State University buildings: Wetlands Discovery located in Kaysville, Utah and Swaner Nature Preserve located in Park City, Utah. While these systems are capable of capturing a significant amount of solar energy, problems have been encountered when the demand is less than the system’s capacity. This project report documents the problems encountered while operating the two solar water heating systems and how the systems were modified to be operational year round under typical operating conditions. The peak solar gain for the collectors was calculated and modeled to determine the amount of heat that would need to be rejected when the system stalled. Based on these findings, modifications were made to the two solar collector systems and the performance was monitored and analyzed. The systems can now operate throughout the year with minimal maintenance.