Solar Hot Water: Renewable Energy Solution for Your Home

Solar thermal is a renewable energy technology that utilizes the sun’s energy as a heat source. It is a brilliant way to generate energy and provides heat, hot water and cooling to homes. The most common uses include heating household water, pool water and living space. Here we will discuss solar thermal energy systems for hot water.

Like solar PV, this is a sustainable green energy source. With the global awareness for environment concerns and the ever increasing energy costs, many homeowners look for ways to save money more especially on alternative ways to generate energy. Things to know about solar thermal energy for home hot water include:

Types of collectors. There are three basic types of collectors dubbed: low, medium, and high. The low collectors are flat plates used to heat swimming pools. Medium collectors are also flat plates and are used to heat water and air. High collectors use mirrors, lenses and other materials with reflective surfaces to collect sunlight which then it uses it as general electric power.

Installation. Panels are very light weight and can be assembled easily. There is not usually a need for a major overhaul on the wiring and structure. Basic space requirements include about a few hundred square feet of flat surface.

What equipment is needed? To harness the sun’s energy through solar thermal, the following are needed:
1. Collector
2. Storage tank
3. Expansion tank
4. Solar station with pump
5. Controller
6. Solar fluid
7. Mounting hardware and
8. Piping

How does this work? Solar collectors, including piping or tubes with fluid (often oil or water) inside them are placed on top of the roof. The sun will heat the tubes and hence the solar fluid. The controller screens the system’s temperature. The solar station’s pumps forces the fluid from the collector to the hot water tank. The fluid will then flow through a pipe that is coiled inside the water tank making the water inside the hot water tank hot. The water from the hot water tank then can be used directly for household needs. The fluid is pumped back up to the collector to be heated by the sun again. To take advantage of the full potential of the solar roof collectors, place it facing south, and tilt it 45 degrees towards the sun.

How about during winter time? Does it work efficiently during cold seasons as compared to during hot sunny days? Limited daylight heat is available during winter season and so, the solar thermal collectors will perform less effectively. However, the system will still provide significant savings through the year.

Long before fossil fuels were discovered, humans managed to make way to survive and live. Now that these supplies are depleting, mankind will have to switch to renewable energy to carry on to live a life of convenience. Solar thermal energy is free and with technology’s improvement, it is easier to convert it into electricity a household can use. Solar thermal power as an energy source not only helps save the environment from further damage, it also guarantees that people can live better lives by saving on energy costs. Solar thermal can also be used to heat and cool home too. Watch for our upcoming articles on these technologies soon.

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