Solar Hot Water System: An Introduction

Solar collectors have been used for decades now, with every generation being more advanced and efficient. Due to their price, the primary target was industrial use which was able to compensate the large investment with long term savings. However, their use began to broaden as a result of constant technological advancement and lower production and sale prices. Very quickly solar collectors expanded to home market and they are here to stay being used for various purposes, mainly to improve energy efficiency. The example of solar system solutions that will be discussed today is solar hot water system.

How solar hot water system work?

Basically, solar containers collect the energy from the Sun and transfer it to the water inside them. It is fundamentally based on the greenhouse effect and is in fact a perpetual process. Nowadays, the most frequent type of solar collectors is flat plate collectors. Their large surface efficiently collects Sun’s energy and the fluid filled tubes within collect the heat from the absorber. The collectors are well insulated, iron glass surfaced and have a special coating that enhances absorption and reduces heat loss.

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Financial benefits

Replacing current utility with a solar one comes with great financial benefits, particularly in the long run.  Average monthly savings are well above 50% and the original investment fully pays off in three to five years. The exact time span depends on the local solar resources and utility energy costs, which may differ substantially. Additional financial benefits may be gained from solar rebates and grants.

Environmental and energy independence benefits

The fact that the use of solar energy has absolutely no negative impact on the environment surely is the best recommendation when it comes to nature conservation. This fact becomes even more important when you consider that the most widespread alternative is the use of fossil fuels with all the environmental devastation resulting from it. When it comes to energy independence, if the system covers the entire household it practically means full independence from any other source of energy as long as the Sun is shining.

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System capacity

The amount of water you use on daily basis will determine system capacity you need to have. An energy efficient household uses approximately 16 gallons of hot water per person. This data, combined with the number of sun hours your roof receives a day will give you the number of square meters your collectors need to have to fulfill your daily needs, says an experienced plumber from Sydney. If you plan to use your solar hot water system for more than water heating, the capacity will have to be slightly adjusted.

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System use

Apart from providing sufficient quantities of hot water necessary for normal household operation, such as showering, dish and clothes washing, solar systems can be used for space and pool heating as well. Space heating uses either the existing installations such as radiators and heat registers providing hot water using in floor tubing or heat exchangers inside the air heaters. Pool heating, on the other hand is performed by sending water from the pool, after it was filtrated, to solar collectors heated. After being heated water, is pumped back into the pool.

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Solar hot water systems are obviously well worth considering, especially if live in a sun rich area such as Australia is. Not only will installing them substantially lower your utility bills, you will actively contribute to saving the environment.

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