Solar Water Heaters – What They Are And How They Operate

Solar water heaters are a cost effective method of generating hot water for your home. They are suitable for any climate and the only fuel they rely on is sunshine!

Solar collectors and storage tanks are important components in a solar water heater. In a two-tank system, water is preheated with solar energy before entering a conventional heater. In a single tank system, the solar storage and back-up heater are both combined in a single tank. Solar collectors and storage tanks work together to produce heated water for residential use.

Solar-water-heater

There are two types of solar water heaters: passive and active. The latter relies on circulating controls and pumps, while the former one does not.

Passive Solar Water Heaters

This type of solar heater is more affordable than active types, however they’re not as efficient either. There are two type of passive solar water heaters:

Integral Collector Storage

This type is most useful in locations where temperatures rarely dip below zero. They’re also useful in households that require significant amounts of daytime and night time hot water.

Thermosyphon Systems

These are more expensive than integral collector storage systems. Although very reliable, the storage tank for the water is quite heavy. In this system, the water flows and rises as it warms. As a result, the collector is installed underneath the storage tank.

Active Solar Water Heaters

There are two types:

Direct Circulation Systems

In this type of system, water circulates through the home via pumps and collectors. This system is ideal for locations where temperatures do not fall below freezing.

Indirect Circulation Systems

A heat transfer fluid is circulated via pumps, collectors and heat exchanger. This will heat up the water before it flows through the home. This type of system is ideal for areas that receive freezing temperatures.

If you are searching for energy efficient ways to obtain hot water for your home, consider investing in solar water heaters. Not only will you enjoy the savings on your next energy bill but you will also be playing your part for the environment.