Understanding the components of your solar water heating system helps you manage it effectively. A solar water heater is an affordable and easy-to-run system that every homeowners should consider.
Learn the basics and vital facts about solar hot water systems.
The Solar Water Heater System
The main components of a solar heating system are a storage tank, collector panel, an expansion tank, and a booster. The solar panels are positioned on the rooftop and collect energy from the sun. Water is then pumped through the collector for heating, and then gets stored in the storage tanks.
A booster is a heating supplement used to heat water when the solar system is not at its best. You can have a gas or electric booster, though most people prefer the gas booster, as it's more economical.
Passive and Active Systems
If you are planning to install a solar hot water system, ensure that you know if it's passive or active. A passive system is less costly but also less efficient than an active one. Passive systems use heat pipes for water heating and circulation, whereas active systems use pumps to circulate water.
Storage tanks for passive systems should be placed strategically to allow easy flow of water as opposed to active systems that use pumps, and hence, water will easily get to the tanks, wherever they might be placed.
Common Types of Solar Water Heaters
There are two main systems, that is, the open loop and closed loop systems. An open loop system has the solar collector separate from the storage tank and water is heated directly by the collector. Water from the tank circulates through an open loop. A closed loop system, on the other hand, uses fluid to transfer the heat, through a water exchange system.
Open loop solar systems are simple and more ideal for home or domestic use. Also, they are best for places with mild climates and no extremes.
Closed loop systems are more efficient and ideal for both domestic and commercial use. Unlike, most open loop systems, closed systems have freeze protection.
Maintenance of Solar Water Heater Systems
Different solar water heating systems have different ways of maintenance. However, there are some basic maintenance tips that apply to all systems, which include:
- Install the right size and carrying capacity for your needs. Do not overload the system, or under-utilize it.
- Ensure that solar panels are fixed firmly to avoid dislodging and breakage.
- Ensure that your roof can support the system, especially the water reservoirs.
- Take note of efficiency of a collector, local climate, and fluctuations in climate to know the best solar system components to buy.
A solar hot water system is a convenient, affordable, and long-lasting solution for heating water for your domestic or commercial use.