SOLAR THERMAL WATER HEATING

THERMAL WATER HEATING IS ALSO KNOWN AS SOLAR HOT WATER HEATING

Solar water heating (SWH) is the conversion of sunlight into renewable energy for water heating using a solar thermal collector. Solar water heaters—also called solar domestic hot water systems—can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use—sunshine—is free. Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors.

WHY SOLAR THERMAL WATER HEATING?

Solar_Water_HeaterInstalling solar energy water heating is not just a conscientious purchase for the environment. It has broader benefits, like savings on your energy bills and more hot water. You can actually increase your home value by installing a solar energy water heating system.

Solar water heating systems are reliable, adaptable, cost-effective, efficient, and pollution-free because they use renewable energy from the sun. Dollar-for-dollar, a solar hot water system is more affordable and creates greater energy output than any other form of renewable energy for your home.

In addition, solar thermal systems are very different from photovoltaic systems, which generate electricity. Solar thermal systems are designed to do one thing, and that is to generate hot water. Whether it be an active or passive system, Integrity can help you decide.

WHAT ARE THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF A SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEM?

Solar water heating or solar thermal systems collect the sun’s energy to heat air or a fluid. The air or fluid then transports the sun’s heat to your hot water. This supplements your existing water supply.

Solar thermal systems are comprised of solar collectors, a storage tank, and a control station. The most common collectors are flat-paneled—constructed using an insulated, flat rectangular box with a high absorbent glass cover that faces the sun.

HOW DOES SOLAR THERMAL WORK?

How does solar energy work? The answers are as simple as you warming up in the sun and as plants growing in your garden. And it’s as complex as using solar panels and photovoltaic cells to make electricity.

The solar thermal method uses energy from the sun directly to generate heat. The sun warms a liquid in a solar collector, which can be mounted on a roof or on the ground. The hot liquid is then pumped to a water tank where the heat exchanger transfers heat to the water. The solar heated water is then transported to the existing water heater or storage tank. Because the water is already hot, the water heater doesn’t have to work as hard, thus reducing your energy cost as much as 80%.

Solar-Thermal-Water_Heating_clip_image002

Solar Thermal Systems for Domestic Water Heating in Single-Family Homes:

  1. Collector
  2. Solar storage tank
  3. Boiler
  4. Solar station
  5. Hot water consumer (e.g. shower)

Solar-Thermal-Water_Heating_clip_image004Active Systems

Active solar water heating systems use pumps to circulate water or a non-freezing heat transfer flue from storage tanks through the collectors. Active systems are typically more expensive than passive systems, but tend to be more efficient.

Solar-Thermal-Water_Heating_clip_image006

Passive Systems

Passive solar moves household water or heat-transfer fluid through the system without using pumps or electricity. Passive systems work during power outages, but they are not recommended in climates that often go below freezing. This system is typically less expensive to install, has greater reliability, and will last much longer. Passive systems tend to be less efficient as compared to active systems.

WHAT WILL IT COST?

Probably one of your first questions is, “How much will it cost?” There are, of course, a few questions we would need to ask you to help determine that cost. Going with a solar thermal system will be more than the cost of a traditional gas or electric system.

The sizing of your system and how you plan on using your system will be factors in determining what will be required for your home. We look at your location, the orientation for the best solar radiation, and the amount of hot water your family uses.

The offset to the cost is the reduction you will see in your utility costs, protecting you from rising fuel costs and increasing the resale value of your home.

WHAT SIZE WILL I NEED?

Just like conventional water heaters, solar water heaters come in different sizes. Sizing your new solar water heater involves determining the total number of collectors required, along with the collector area and storage volume, to meet 90 to 100% of your household hot water demands during the summer. We will spend time talking to you to learn about your lifestyle to help you get the right system.

ASK ABOUT OUR SENIOR AND VETERAN DISCOUNTS!