Solar hot water heaters make use of solar power to heat water. Solar panels are installed on the roof of your house. The pipes within your house carry a solution to the solar panels, which heats them. The hot solution is pumped back to a hot water tank through a heat exchanger that heats the water. This is the simple process in which solar water heaters work and is a recurring cycle that allows the water in the tank to be heated. Since one of the largest uses of energy in the average home is allocated to heating hot water, using a solar hot water heater can save large amounts of energy and reduce utility bills by nearly 80%.
If your solar hot water heater is to function properly, then the panels should be installed in a south facing roof, with dimensions of at least 10′ x 10’. This will support two solar panels with dimensions of 4’ x 8’ each. There should not be any trees or buildings near the roof that block the sunlight.
What Are The Different Types Of Solar Hot Water Heaters?
There are many types of solar hot water heaters and they are further sub-divided into various systems:
Collector type solar hot water heaters are further sub-divided into two types: Batch Collectors and Flat Plate Collectors. Batch Collectors are types of heaters that use dark tanks for heating water. The dark tanks are placed in an insulated box which stores the water. Water can be stored for a long time; however, they are not suitable for cold climates. Flat Plate Collectors are copper tubes that fit on flat absorber plates. These tubes are connected with pipes, which form the inlet and the outlet. The plate assembly is placed in an insulated box, which is further covered by tempered glass.
Evacuated Tube Collectors
These are the most efficient types of water heaters. They contain evacuated water tubes, similar to a hot water thermos. The tube containing water is placed within a bigger glass tube and the space between the two tubes is, simply, a vacuum. This preserves the heat in the smaller glass tube. Evacuated tube collectors work well in all types of weather conditions.
These systems are further subdivided into 4 types of heaters: Direct Systems, Indirect Systems, Active Circulation, and Passive Circulation. Direct Systems circulate heated water using solar collectors and the water is stored or directly used. They are not recommended for use in very cold freezing weather conditions. Indirect Systems use a non-freezing liquid for transferring sun’s heat to storage tank water. Solar energy heats the solution in the collectors that passes through heat exchangers and heats water. Active Circulation moves water from collectors using electric pumps, controllers and valves. Passive Circulation moves water from collectors using natural convection.
There are many benefits of solar hot water heaters. They are not only beneficial to homeowners, as they help you save energy and cut down water heating bills but they’re also beneficial for the environment. They reduce your reliance on other energy sources and eliminate the need for your local utility company to create more energy for you by burning coal or other fossil fuels. Many local and state government offer tax rebates for installing solar hot water heater systems. The best benefit is that solar hot water heaters help improve your personal cash flow, since you can put your utility bill savings right into your pockets.
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