One increasingly popular method of incorporating renewable technologies into homes is by incorporating solar hot water. A solar water-heating system can reduce the need for conventional water heating by up to two-thirds. It minimizes the expense of electricity or fossil fuel to heat the water and therefore reduces the associated environmental impacts.
Most solar water-heating systems for buildings have two main parts: (1) a solar collector and (2) a storage tank. The most common collector used in solar hot water systems is the flat-plate collector. Solar water heaters use the sun to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid in the collector. Heated water is then held in the storage tank ready for use, with a conventional system providing additional heating as necessary. The tank can be a modified standard water heater, but it is usually larger and very well insulated. Consideration should be made when selecting either a passive or active solar hot water system.
Passive solar water heaters are considered to be the simplest systems, also called batch or breadbox collectors. Passive systems are most common in regions that do not experience extensive periods of below freezing temperatures. The water in passive solar collectors circulates without the aid of pumps or controls.
Active solar water systems heaters use pumps to circulate water or an antifreeze solution through heat-absorbing solar thermal collectors. Contact us for a customized recommendation for your property.