Solar water heaters—also called solar domestic hot water systems—can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use—sunshine—
Solar water heating or solar hot water systems comprise several innovations and many mature renewable energy technologies that have been well established for many years.
Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors. There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don't.
Most solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank. Solar storage tanks have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collector. In two-tank systems, the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank.
In a "close-coupled"
Solar water heating systems are designed to deliver hot water for most of the year. However, in winter there sometimes may not be sufficient solar heat gain to deliver sufficient hot water. In this case a gas or electric booster is normally used to heat the water.
In a separate solar water heater system, a water storage tank with a built-in heat exchanger is necessary to heat your water and have it readily available for use. It is possible to use an existing tank with no heat exchanger, but it will require a 2nd pump, a plate heat exchanger and circulate of water from your tank, through the plate heat exchanger while the glycol loop circulates through the other side of the plate heat exchanger. There will also be extra heat loss to the surroundings. My opinion, it’s best to go with a special solar water-heating tank with built-in heat exchanger.
In all my research, I found the Solar Water Heater Hot Water Tank with Dual Coil Gas & Electric Backup to be the most sufficient and efficient alternative.
Back up heating Dual coil tanks are meant for gas back up heating. All tanks come equipped with electrical backup heating and thermostat. Features Safety/Control Equipped with several automatic control and protection devices such as thermostatic control, over-temperature protector, pressure protection device and one-way valve. Provided with magnesium bars work as the anode in the tank to help resist corrosion. It will corrode before the other metals in the tank due since it is less noble than the stainless steel and galvanic outer shell. This is especially useful in helping to prevent pitting. No corrosion in a tank means that the water will remain pure and unaffected. By replacing the magnesium bar every 5-7 years, the tank may last a lifetime.
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Lonna Sellstrom brings 20 years of experience in teaching and counseling to her work as an Intuitive Spiritual Consultant, Life Coach and best-selling author.