Solar Water Heater – What is it

Skylight Solar Water Heater

If you are fretting over your growing utility charges, then a solar water heater could possibly be the answer to your problems. These solar heating systems are a cost-efficient way to generate hot water for your home since the system is fuelled by the sun. Unlike fossil fuels, sunshine energy is free, clean and there is an infinite supply. Read on to find why installing a solar hot water heater into your home can save you money and help the environment.

Solar Water Heater – How it Works

Sun powered water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors. There are two types of these heating systems: Active – Which have circulating pumps and controls and Passive heating systems, which do not.

Passive heating systems are typically less expensive than active systems, but they are generally not as efficient. Nevertheless, passive systems can be more reliable and may last longer. For active systems, discuss the maintenance requirements with your system provider and consult the system’s owner’s manual.

Most water heaters, that run on sun power, require a well-insulated storage tank. Solar storage tanks have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collector. In two-tank systems, the solar heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank.

The main problem with solar water heating systems is that they require a back-up system for those days when the sun is obliterated by clouds. Conventional storage water heaters usually provide back-up and may already be part of the solar system package. A back-up system may also be part of the solar collector, such as rooftop tanks with thermosyphon systems. Since an integral-collector storage system already stores hot water in addition to collecting solar heat, it may be packaged with a demand water heater for backup. More information on Thermosyphon systems can be found at Flasolar.

Skylight Solar Water Heater System

Skylight Solar Water Heater System

Solar Water Heater Buying Guide

Before you purchase and install a solar-powered water heating system, you should consider the economics of solar energy systems, evaluate your site’s solar resource, determine the correct system size and energy efficiency and check into your local codes and regulations. The proper installation depends on your solar resources, climate, local building code requirements and safety issues. It’s best to have a qualified, solar thermal system’s contractor install your system. Regular maintenance on simple systems can be as infrequent as every 3–5 years, preferably by a solar contractor. Systems with electrical components usually require a replacement part after 10 years.

Current solar water systems do have minor flaws, but we can expect those to be remedied as the technology improves. Even with these flaws, the systems are still a smart investment for consumers because they will pay for themselves in by reducing your utility bills. Also, many governments and manufacturers offer rebates to people investing in environmentally friendly solar power products.

Aside from the fact that a solar water heater can save you money, you can also take pride in knowing that you are doing your part for the environment.