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An Introduction to Solar Water Heaters

How to Select Solar Water Heaters 

The majority of people know that the sun can be used to heat their household water with the help of a solar water heater, however what they don't know it how to carefully select the right system for their specific needs.

Each solar water heater is made up of two main components, the collector, and the storage tank. However, it is the other components that can and often do vary greatly in both design and efficiency. The design of a solar water heater is classified as either passive or active and as direct (open loop) or indirect (closed loop).

Passive systems do not use pumps or controls to regulate or circulate the water through the system. Because of this, passive systems are more durable, reliable, and last longer lasting. In addition, they are also easier to maintain. They are also less expensive to operate than the active systems.

Active systems as you can guess do require the use pumps and controls to transfer the heated water from the collectors into the storage tanks. Because these systems have mechanical parts, and require electricity to operate, they are more expensive, and require routine maintenance. Both of passive and active systems will require a conventional hot water heater for a backup system as both systems can meet approximately half of a entire household's hot water needs depending on that household geographic area and water usage. In some households, a solar hot water system could supply a household's entire hot water needs, but these instances are few.

Direct systems are not at all effective in climates where the temperatures fall to or below freezing. Indirect systems, however, are more effective simply because they utilize a form of antifreeze in the collectors which reduces the likelihood of freezing.

To help you select the right solar water heating system, please visit the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation website at: www.solar-rating.org The SRCC publishes performance ratings on solar water heating systems as well as individual solar collectors. These findings are the result of product testing by independent, third party laboratories. In addition, every product that is certified by the SRCC will bear the SRCC label. However, to ensure that the product that you choose is the right system for your household and area, you have to do carefully comparison of the information provided by the SRCC. This will also guarantee your understanding of the products expected performance.

In addition, keep in mind that choosing the best infrared heater for your geographic area, household needs is only a small part, you also have to ensure that you select a system that is of proper size. Then the system has to be installed correctly as well as correctly maintained to ensure that your system provides you with the best performance.



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