Solar water heaters
Posted by Solar energy guru | Filed under Solar thermal solutions
Using solar energy is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of energy production and create cleaner energy. Solar energy is produced by capturing energy from the sun and using it to heat air or water. This is accomplished through the use of different components such as solar panels, solar cells, solar thermal collectors, and solar water heaters. All of these components can work alone, or in combination with each other, to capture, store, and release the energy from the sun. When using solar energy to heat water, solar water heaters must be used.
Types of Solar Water Heaters
There are three main types of solar water heaters available for use. They are the flat-plate collector, integral collector-storage system, and evacuated tube solar collector. Each of these solar water heaters works differently to accomplish the objective of capturing the sun’s energy and using it to heat water. Flat-plate collectors use insulated boxes with an absorptive glaze on them to heat water. When being used for heating pool water, the insulated box may be unglazed. Integral-collector storage systems operate by allowing cold water to pass through a solar collector, which heats the water slightly. The pre-heated water is then transferred to a traditional water heater for additional heating. Evacuated tube solar collectors use glass tubes and metal absorbers to heat water. The evacuated tube solar collectors are often used for commercial purposes rather than residential water heating.
Passive vs. Active Solar Water Heaters
Solar water heating systems can be either passive or active. The advantages of using passive systems are that they are less expensive than active systems and they usually last longer. The disadvantage to using a passive system is that this type of system is not as efficient as an active system. There are two types of passive solar water heaters. Integral collector-storage systems are ideal for residential use, but must be used in climates where the temperatures do not fall below freezing very often. Thermosyphon systems are more expensive than integral-collector storage systems and they operate by allowing warm water to rise through the system as cooler water sinks.
Active solar water heaters can be indirect circulation systems or direct circulation systems. In a direct circulation system, water is circulated through collectors and into the home. This type of system works best in warmer climates that don’t experience freezing temperatures very often. Indirect circulation systems are ideal for homes that are in areas that experience freezing temperatures rather often. These systems pump a heat transfer fluid through solar collectors and a heat exchange. This is what warms the water in the system.
Considerations for Solar Water Heaters
Before purchasing and installing solar water heaters, homeowners need to consider several factors. First, determine if using solar water heaters will offer you any economic benefit. If it will cost more to purchase the solar water heater and maintain it than it would to heat your water with a conventional system, it may not be worth the purchase. You also need to check with your local government to find out if there are any code regulations in place that would govern the type of solar water heater purchased or how it would be installed. Homeowners who live in property developments also need to check their land covenants to make sure that installing a solar water heater would not be against the covenant.
When you decide to purchase a solar water heater, you need to know what type of system you need and how it will be installed. Hiring someone who is experienced at installing solar water heaters would be ideal. This way, you can avoid some common installation problems and avoid breaking the system before it has even been used. If you need system maintenance in the future, you can also use the same contractor who installed the system. This will ensure that you have someone who knows your specific system and can make the necessary repairs without causing further damage.