Solar Panel Water Heating Systems
Solar panel water heating systems make use of the sun’s energy to heat up hot water for home showers and for heating up the water for homes with swimming pools. Solar water heating provides homes with hot water throughout the year, maintenance costs are kept very low, savings on energy bills because sunlight is free, and best of all, solar energy is clean and green and thus very environmentally friendly and lowers one's carbon footprint.
2 key points to consider for homeowners interested in solar water heating systems:
● Sufficient roof space for solar panels and hot water cylinder installation and;
● Facing direction of the roof that receives direct sunlight for best part of the day.How A Solar Panel Water Heating System Works?
Solar heating systems usually have 3 elements, the solar collector, insulated piping and a hot water storage tank. Homes using a solar water heating system or a solar thermal system have solar panels called collectors mounted on the roof. Solar water heating collectors works differently from Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels, as the former produces hot water and the latter, electricity.
Solar collectors come in two forms, flat -plate and the evacuated tube, differentiated by the way in which each type of panel interacts with the water that it is heating. Evacuated tubes are more efficient than the flat-plate type and are generally used when there is a need for higher temperatures or bigger volumes of water.
Basically, the solar panels absorb solar radiation and use it to heat up water stored in a hot water tank or cylinder. Cold water is fed into the water cylinder where it passes through a first coil. A fluid is then pumped up to be heated by the solar panels. The fluid then flows back through a second coil in the cylinder to heat up the stored water in the cylinder. Homes may also be fitted with a conventional boiler or an immersion heater to make the water hotter and also to conserve the hot water for use especially in the evenings and nights when there is no more sunlight.