Sunday, February 9, 2014

Water heaters - Solar

How It Works? – Solar

In order to heat water using solar energy, a collector, often fastened to a roof or a wall facing the sun, heats working fluid that is either pumped (active system) or driven by natural convection (passive system) through it.

The collector could be made of a simple glass-topped insulated box with a flat solar absorber made of sheet metal, attached to copper heat exchanger pipes and dark-colored, or a set of metal tubes surrounded by an evacuated (near vacuum) glass cylinder. In industrial cases a parabolic mirror can concentrate sunlight on the tube. Heat is stored in a hot water storage tank. The volume of this tank needs to be larger with solar heating systems in order to allow for bad weather, and because the optimum final temperature for the solar collector[clarification needed] is lower than a typical immersion or combustion heater. The heat transfer fluid (HTF) for the absorber may be the hot water from the tank, but more commonly (at least in active systems) is a separate loop of fluid containing anti-freeze and a corrosion inhibitor which delivers heat to the tank through a heat exchanger (commonly a coil of copper heat exchanger tubing within the tank).

Copper is an important component in solar thermal heating and cooling systems because of its high heat conductivity, resistance to atmospheric and water corrosion, sealing and joining by soldering, and mechanical strength. Copper is used both in receivers and primary circuits (pipes and heat exchangers for water tanks).
  • The positives for you
Because you’re using the sun’s energy to heat your water, less non-renewable energy sources are being used. This works for you in more ways than one:
  • The amount of greenhouse emissions you produce could be reduced.
Why? Because heating water is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions from the average property (23% of household emissions).
  • The amount of money you spend on energy may be reduced.
Why? Because where a five star energy efficient gas hot water system saves you 15% on running costs, a gas-boosted solar hot water system can double this. And if you’re upgrading from a traditional electric hot water system you could save even more.
  • The government could rebate some of your costs.
Why? Because there are government incentives in place which reward eligible customers for choosing renewable energy sources for their property’s energy use.

For more information on how you can save money on your utilities, or for a FREE  in-home consultation please contact us here.

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