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Which type of solar hot water heater do we use to meet hot water needs?
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Solar water heater heaters are now popular means to meet domestic hot water needs. These are also cost-effective ways to meet hot water needs for your home. The best part of these systems is the fuel used in the sunshine.
Most solar water heaters need a well-insulated storage tank having an additional outlet and inlet. In two-tank systems, the water is preheated before flowing into the conventional water heater.
How do solar hot water heaters operate?
Solar hot water heating systems consist of storage tanks and solar collectors. They are chiefly two types of systems; active solar hot water heating systems, which have circulating pumps and controls. The second is a passive system that does not have any of these.
Active Solar Water Heating Systems are also of two types:
Direct circulation systems: In this system, pumps are used to circulate the water which passes through the collectors and reaches the home taps. This system works in freezing weather conditions.
Indirect Circulation System: The pumps used in the system circulate a non-freezing, heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. Through this system, water is heated and then flows into the home. These are quite popular in chilling weather conditions.'
Passive Solar Water Heating Systems
Passive Solar Water Heating Systems: these are generally less expensive than active systems and so have less efficiency. However, these passive systems are more reliable and last longer. There are two types of passive systems:
Integral collector: These constitute solar tanks that are covered with a transparent material that allows the sun to heat the water. Water then flows into the plumbing systems. These are best in considerably warm weather conditions.
Thermosyphon systems: In this system, water is collected on the roof and then flows through the plumbing system. Most of these systems have a 40-gallon capacity.
Things to keep in mind while selecting a solar hot water heater:
Before you opt for buying and installing a solar hot water heating system, do the following:
Find the cost and energy efficiency needs of a solar water heating system
● Evaluate your sites solar resource
● Find the correct system size
Investigate covenants, regulations and local codes.
You should also know about the different components of solar water heating systems: Some of these are:
● Heat exchangers
● Heat transfer fluids
Maintenance of the Solar water heating systems
The installation of solar hot water heaters depends on many different factors:
● Weather condition
● Local building code requirements
● Safety issues
Solar Heating System Maintenance
After its installation, it is important to maintain the system properly. It will help keep the system running smoothly. If you have passive systems, you do not have to worry much about the system's maintenance. For the active systems, it is better to discuss with your system provider, and read the owner’s manual. You have to retain the maintenance of plumbing and other conventional systems. It is also important to clean the Glazing in dry weather conditions where rainwater does not need regular rinse.
Energy Saving Mechanism
Once you have properly installed your water heater, you can also adopt some energy saving strategies or mechanisms, to help reduce your water heating bills. You can also install some energy saving devices, which will prove to be cost-effective in the long run.
How do you choose a contractor for installing a Solar Hot Water Heater?
While screening your contractor, you should ask about his experience and if the company is licensed or certified? A solar licence is needed in some states.
It has been an Australian Government’s strategy to increase the use of low-emission solar water heaters. It is a part of the National Strategy for Energy Efficiency. The strategy aims to reduce the household electricity consumption needs by removing energy efficiency hot water systems that are used in more than half of all Australian households.
Several studies show that the impact of the Solar Hot Water Heating Systems depends on the size of the storage tank, how the system is placed, the material of the collector panels and the level of insulation on pipes and tanks. It impacts the frequency and the extent of boosting needed. However it all boils down to the timing of boosting, and hot water needs of your household. These two are important factors that impact the operational efficiency of the system.