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 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
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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