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solar water heaters
Solar Water Heater Description
Solar water heaters use solar energy to heat water for a variety of uses, including home, businesses and industrial uses. Swimming pools heating, under-flooring heating, space heating or cooling are other possible uses of solar thermal energy.
Solar hot water systems are composed of solar collectors, which collects energy from the sun. The heat collected is moved, through a fluid system, from the collectors to a storage tank and from there to the point of usage. The system may use electricity for pumping the fluid, or heat convection, depending on the type. The system may include also thermostats and a controller device to control the operation based on temperature differentials and hot water demand. In most cases a solar water heater can provide up to 85% of domestic hot water.
Solar water heaters can be passive and active. Passive solar water heaters, also called thermo-siphon, do not required a circulating pump to move the fluid from the collectors to the tank. The tank is located above the collectors and the fluid circulates by heat convection. This type of solar thermal system is inexpensive, easier to install, and work well in warmer climates.
Active solar hot water systems use a pump to circulate the heat transfer fluid, or water, from the collectors to the storage tank. This type of system is usually more efficient than passive systems, but are also more expensive, and more difficult to install.
Solar water heaters require larger and well-insulated storage tank. It is possible, but not necessary, to keep the existent electric or gas water heater by interconnecting the system already in place to the solar water heater. The solar water heaters pre-heats the water for the conventional water heater reducing the energy required, gas or electricity, to heat the water.
Two types of solar collectors are used for most all applications: flat-plate and evacuated-tube collector. Flat-plate collectors are indicated to warmer climates. Evacuated tube collectors are suitable to colder climates, larger residential or commercial applications. Both types of solar collectors can be used for passive or active systems.
How to Select a Solar Water Heater
First, we need to find whether the location where it is to be installed is suitable for solar water heating and the space available for the installation. Then, we determine which type of system, pressurized, non-pressurized, open-loop or closed-loop, is suitable for the application and budget. Finally, we size the solar water heater for the hot water demand. We carry pre-packaged kits for most residential applications. To find more about our pre-packaged kits.
Flat Panel - Pressurized System
This system is composed for a number of flat-plate collectors, one or more storage tank, one or more circulating pump, temperature sensors, controller and expansion tank. Flat-plate collectors work fine in warmer climates like Florida, Texas or Arizona. It is cost effective for regular residential or small commercial applications. The flat-plate collector kits are available up to 80 gallon, designed for a household of 4 to 6 people.
Thermo-siphon systems are easy to install. They come with collector and a built-in storage tank. The heat from the sun circulates from the collector to the tank by thermal convection. No pump is needed. The system can be connected directly to the existing hot water line or interconnected to existent water heater. This type of system can be installed on the roof or on the ground. For more information on thermo-siphon kits.
Evacuated Tubes - pressurized system
Evacuated tube collectors perform well in most all climates. They perform better than flat-plate collectors in cold weather. Evacuated tubes are made of two glass cylinders, one inside the other. The inner glass cylinder has a heat absorption layer and it is isolated by vacuum created in the space between the inner and outer glass cylinder retaining the heat inside. Evacuated tubes work well even when covered by snow. Evacuated tubes are suitable for larger installations like commercial or apartment complexes. Evacuated tube collectors come in modules of 10 to 30 evacuated tubes. Pre-packaged kits are available with one or more collectors, and up to 80 gallons storage tank. Please contact us for evaluation or larger installations.
Larger residential or
For larger homes (household of 6 or more people), or commercial installations, like hotel, motel, restaurant, laundry or any other, we have to follow a simple process to collect information and proceed to calculations to determine the size of collectors and storage tank. If this is your case, please fill out our information form so we can better assist you. Click here for the information form.