Solar water heaters, or solar domestic hot water systems, can be a very cost effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use (sunshine) is both clean and free.
Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors. There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don’t.
Most solar water heaters 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 water 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.
Three types of solar collectors are used for residential applications:
1. Flat Plate Collector
Glazed flat-plate collectors are insulated, weatherproofed boxes that contain a dark absorber plate under one or more glass or plastic (polymer) covers. Unglazed flat-plate collectors which are usually used for solar pool heating have a dark absorber plate, made of metal or polymer, without a cover or enclosure.
2. Integral Collector-storage systems
Also known as ICS or batch systems, they feature one or more black tanks or tubes in an insulated, glazed box. Cold water first passes through the solar collector, which preheats the water. The water then continues on to the conventional backup water heater, providing a reliable source of hot water. They should be installed only in mild-freeze climates because the outdoor pipes could freeze in severe, cold weather.
3. Evacuated-tube solar collectors
They feature parallel rows of transparent glass tubes. Each tube contains a glass outer tube and metal absorber tube attached to a fin. The fin’s coating absorbs solar energy but inhibits radiative heat loss. These collectors are used more frequently for U.S. commercial applications.
Hayes Construction is an expert at using alternative energy methods to make your home more efficient, save you money and protect the environment.
If you have any questions about solar water heaters, or if you’re ready to have a solar water heater installed in your home, we’re here to support you. Give us a call today…(520) 297-9643.