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Solar Water Heating
It’s easier than ever to harness the sun’s energy in order to produce hot water. We offer systems that are capable of reducing your hot water energy bills by up to 70-85% for residential applications and commercial applications can see the range of savings from 50-80% by eliminating their conventional water heater with a solar system.
In residential homes, 30% of your home’s carbon emission is from hot water heating. Businesses, depending on the industry, can see that percentage go even higher. By switching, you not only reduce your carbon footprint, but you realize savings on your monthly bills.
There are two types of solar water heating systems: Active and Passive. Active water heating systems include: (a) Direct-circulation; (b) Indirect-circulation utilizing anti-freeze; and (c) “Drainback” Indirect-circulation. Passive water heating systems include: (a) Integral-collector storage systems; and (b) Thermosyphon [also spelled Thermosiphon] systems.
While passive water heating systems are less expensive to install, they have certain limitations, particularly with regard to climates.
Active water heating systems have their own pros and cons. While they are more expensive, they do tend to give better and wider ranges of water heating options in warm, moderate and cold climates.
We encourage you to contact us to find out which system is right for your home, business or government project.
Passive Water Heater Options
If you are considering a passive water heating option, the integral-collector storage system is the less attractive option unless you live where it rarely freezes and your main hot water usage is during the day or early evening. This is because of the system’s design. (The storage tank is placed so part of it is directly exposed to sunlight). Those with early morning hot water needs should choose a different system, because these storage tanks will lose most of the water’s warmth during the night.
The thermosyphon passive water heating option is a good choice in warm southern climates. In this system, the tanks are usually installed in to the attic of the home or business. Since this system’s water is circulated via convection, the solar collector is placed in an area outside the home and below the tank. In this manner, heated water is able to rise up to the tank displacing the colder water that is pushed back out to the collector. Northern climates or southern mountain climates should not utilize this option because your pipes can burst as result of freezing temperatures.
Active Water Heater Options
The direct-circulation system is good for use in climates that don’t experience freezing temperatures for long periods. These systems use pumps to move drinkable water that has been pressurized directly through the solar collectors. Since these systems utilize the actual potable (a.k.a. drinking) water inside the system, it is important to check for hard or acidic water, prior to installation, as this type of water will harm these systems over time.
The antifreeze method of indirect-circulation commonly utilizes a food-grade propylene glycol mixture. The mixture is run through the collector. Heat exchangers, then, transfer the heat from these mixtures to the potable water. In order to protect from overheating your water, a special temperature sensitive valve can be installed. This allows cold water to mix with the overheated water in order to reach the optimal temperature for the building’s use.
The last of the active water heating systems is what is called a “Drainback” system. Water is circulated through the solar collectors via pumps. When the pumps stop working, water in the collectors automatically drain into a special storage tank. This system is a good choice for colder climates.
(Did you know that you can even harness the sun to COOL your space? While this is not a service that we currently provide, we wanted to share with you that solar options are more wide-ranging than most originally believed. Solar technology is constantly updating and improving. Who knows what's next! Here at Creative Solar USA, we are excited when new technologies emerge.)