The Benefits of Installing a Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters come as the best way to downsize those heating bills. The big problem with those bills is that they’re not that high so you’re not exactly conscious of just how much money gets thrown away. At some point, though, you realize that all those repairs, water heater parts replacements and especially all those bills are adding up to a very costly way to take care of your hot water supply.
Another phenomenon is the fact that in order to downsize your bills you need to make bigger one-time investments. There’s no way to make a storage tank water heater work better and cheaper. You need to buy much more expensive equipment because that is exactly the advantage you get: cheaper bills.
The best way to downsize on those costs is to get yourself a solar water heater. A solar water heater pretty much does what you would expect. It heats water by harnessing the power of the sun. Today there’s a wide range of solar panels that provide different kinds of energy, and all of that for no cost, except the actual buying of the equipment.
Solar water heaters have a storage tank, just like most water heaters out there. The water is then heated by something called a heating element. That’s it in a nutshell. There are two types of solar water heaters. Some are active systems, the others are passive systems. Let’s look at their differences.
In general active solar water heaters are by far superior to passive systems. Active systems use pumps to circulate the water and get it to your shower. There’s also a very handy controller that lets you decide what temperature you want the water to be at. You also get a display that figures the temperature of the water as well as warnings of any problems in the system.
Passive solar water heaters don’t have any heating pumps. This means they’re not too good at storing heat as their brethren. The tank has the role of both storing water and collecting energy. And you also don’t get the controller which is a real disappointment.
Also, while both solar water heaters are influenced by the elements you get no control whatsoever with a passive solar water heater. In a very hot, sunny day, the water will be very hot and there won’t be much you can do about it.
Solar water heaters convert solar energy and use it to heat up water. The most important part of a solar water heater is without doubt it’s storage tank. This is a highly specialist device. It’s very important to make sure it’s well insulated since it gets exposed to weather. Then you get a bunch of pipes to get the water where you want it. There are some extra pipes that go into the collector. This is another specialized piece of equipment. There are two main types of energy collectors:
The most widespread type of collector is the flat plate collector. The collector is the energy absorbant. In this case it is a flat plate. It’s dyed in a dark coat, designed to give it the highest absorption power. The solar water heater transfers heat from the absorber directly to the water through those pipes we mentioned earlier.
Evacuated tube collectors are more efficient because tube collectors don’t use pipes the way the flat plate collector does. Instead they have two glass tubes fitted in one inside the other. Then the area between the tubes is vacuumed. The most efficient insulation is through vacuum, so the glass tubes lose much less heat than the flat collector pipes. Thus you still get hot water even on cloudy days.
Installing a solar water heater is tricky business. It’s best to hire a specialized worker, that’s why they’re there. Usually the price of the solar water heater includes the installation, but anyway, there are many factors that influence the installation such as sunlight angles, weather patterns and, most importantly, safety.
After that things run smooth. Maintenance is very easy as problems are few and far between. Apart from the initial payment there are very little unforeseen costs to speak of. You will be very happy with your choice as far as money goes.
Usually people opt for a combination of one solar water heater and one other type of water heater to deal with strings of cloudy days. This is a very ingenious combination as you get free hot water for most of the year and you don’t have to go through the ordeal of a week without hot water. It’s also eco-friendly.