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an Integral Collector Storage (ICS) System
as shown in Figure 5, the hot water storage system
is the collector. Cold water flows progressively
through the collector where it is heated by the
sun. Hot water is drawn from the top, which is the
hottest, and replacement water flows into the
bottom. This system is simple because pumps and
controllers are not required. On demand, cold
water from the house flows into the collector and
hot water from the collector flows to a standard
hot water auxiliary tank within the house.
A flush-type freeze
protection valve is installed in the top plumbing
near the collector. As temperatures near freezing,
this valve opens to allow relatively warm water to
flow through the collector to prevent freezing. In
south Florida and certain areas of central
Florida, the thermal mass of the large water
volume within the ICS collector provides a means
of freeze protection.