There are both active and passive solar water
the type you will need depends on where you live and how much hot water
you need to generate. We will take a look at the different types of
solar water heating systems and give you recommendations on the higher
quality brands and lines of products.
Keep in mind that active
hot water heating systems require electricity for them to function, so
they will not work in case of a blackout unless they are powered by a
separate solar energy system complete with its own solar panels and all
other necessary components.
Solar hot water heaters
require a fairly large initial investment;
however the system will normally pay for itself after five years or so.
It is recommended that you have
a professional evaluate your home and
your needs before to deciding to purchase any solar water heating
You should also have the
water heating system installed
professional to ensure that your system functions properly
and at its
optimal capacity. Overall, solar water heating systems can be an
extremely useful way to lower your energy bills and reduce your
negative impact on the environment, especially when combined with other
solar energy systems.
Passive Solar Water
Heaters for Warm Climates
If you live in a warm climate you may
want to consider a passive solar
water heating system. These are by far the cheapest systems to purchase
and the easiest to install. They have no moving parts and are very
efficient, but they cannot
be used in locations where the temperature
drops below freezing as this will damage
the collectors and cause the
system to stop functioning.
These systems work by
having a heating unit
on the roof that pre heats water until it is needed, where it will then
be drawn into a conventional backup heating tank or directly to the
tap. You can purchase the panels or collectors online for a fairly low
price or you can even build your own system.
However, if you are really
serious about using solar power to produce enough hot water to meet
your family’s needs, then you really should consider purchasing an
entire passive solar
water heating kit.
The most recommended brand
of passive solar water heaters is
manufactured by Rheem.
You can purchase a complete Rheem
RS47-21B passive solar
heater kit on Amazon or other retailers for around $3,000. Now this may
seem like a high price, but considering this unit should be adequate
for almost of all your hot water needs, it will quickly pay for itself
and you should actually save a large chunk of money in the long run.
Active Flat Plate Water
Heaters for Moderate Climates
Flat plate type
water collectors can be used in any moderate
climate, and they feature a flat plate collector that
should be placed
on the roof. This is connected to the water tank by a series of pumps
that will activate when they sense the temperature of the water in the
collector plates reaches a certain level. This type of system is also
commonly used to provide hot water for pools as well.
manufactures one of the top solar flat plate water
heaters on the market. Unfortunately the majority of their systems are
quite small and are actually intended for use on RVs and boats. Despite
this fact, they still come highly recommended and you can connect
multiple units together to provide hot water for your home.
Active Evacuated Tube
Collectors for Cold Climates
Evacuated tube collectors
work similarly to flat plat collectors,
except that these collectors are made of many small tubes where the
water is heated. They still require a pump to move the
water from the
system into the storage tank or the tap. They are designed to drain the
water back out of the system when the heater is not in use so they will
not freeze, even in extreme climates.
This is by far the most
type of solar hot water heater, and will require a much longer time
before it finally pays you back for the large initial investment.
Nonetheless, these heaters are still quite efficient and great for the
environment. They are also much more adaptable than the other type of
solar hot water heating systems and they can be used for many different
purposes, including radiant heating, snow melting, and
they are even
suitable for large scale commercial and industrial purposes.
One of the
top brands of evacuated tube solar collectors is SunChaser. SunChaser
manufactures several different sizes of evacuated tube collectors, so
be sure that you get the right size for your particular needs.
units of the Sunchaser
Solar Hot Water Heater can be connected
easily if you are not producing enough hot water to meet your family’s
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