Why Copper Is Good for Heat Transfer

Tue, 18 May 2021

Copper has many characteristics that make it desirable material in the science world. One of them is its excellent thermal conductivity. Because of this feature, copper has become a vital component in solar water heaters. 

Copper plays a vital role in tubing that connects the collector to the building’s water storage and distribution system. As the sun shines on the water inside the collector, the copper lining absorbs heat and transfers it to the water, heating it in the process. As the sun’s intensity changes throughout the day, the circulating pump adjusts its speed accordingly. 

Of all the metals used for thermal conductivity, copper is ranked as one of the best. It is such a good conductor of heat that if you heat one end of a piece of copper, the heat is instantaneously transferred to the other end. When a free electron in the cooler atom lattice collides with an ion at the hot end, it rapidly gains kinetic energy and speeds towards the cold end. This way, heat is quickly transferred. 

There are many other reasons why copper is considered a better thermal conductor for heat transfer than silver or any other metal. In this post, we will shine a light on the various reasons why copper is suitable for heat transfer. Continue reading to find out.


1. Corrosion Resistant

Have you ever wondered why copper is best suited for heat transfer? It is because of its corrosion-resistant. It does not tend to corrode, making it an important component for systems that must not corrode, such as saucepans, jewellery, electrical cables, pipes, marine applications, and many more. It is also one of the major reasons why it is a component of many types of solar water heaters.

Copper can serves its purposes for as long as possible. Investing in it because of its non-corrosive properties will yield bountiful returns in the future. 


2. Tough

Copper is a tough metal with a high melting point, making it ideal for solar energy systems where heat must be regularly harnessed. They do not break or shatter when subjected to a temperature below zero degrees centigrade. Because of the toughness, copper can be used for many years without fear of losing its structure or function. Especially in areas where solar systems are commonly used, components made of copper are guaranteed to stay in shape to perform their function. 


3. Highly Ductile

Copper is highly ductile, making it easily-moulded into different sizes and shapes because of its thin walls and lightweight. It can be bent without losing its properties and functions and can be fit into solar heating systems. 


4. Clean

Copper is naturally clean from bacteria. Its surface is hostile to bacteria, viruses, and many other harmful microorganisms. This is one reason why it is installed as a heat-conducting material in areas such as hospitals, where hygiene is highly and optimally maintained.


5. Recyclable

Copper can be easily recycled while maintaining its quality and properties. Together with its alloys, copper can be recycled into other forms that can be used to conduct heat. This factor keeps landfills free of coppers waste, helping to maintain minimal copper residue environment.


6. Easily Alloys

Copper can be combined with other metals to make alloys. Copper alloys are stronger and tougher than pure copper, enhancing their ability to conduct heat. Most alloys found in solar heating systems form a vital component that plays a big role in heat conduction.


In a Nutshell 

Copper is a good material for heat transfer. For the reasons discussed above, it is often used as a component in many solar heater systems. When purchasing a solar water heater or hot water system, go for one that has copper as its heat transfer material for top efficiency. In this regard, Solar-Mate's solar water heater uses copper tubing to transfer heat from sun to water. For further information, feel free to get in touch with our specialists