Solar Water Heaters
Sometimes known as solar domestic hot water systems, solar water heaters are an eco-friendly and cheaper way to heat the water used in your home for things like showers, baths and hot water cycles in the washing machine. Solar water heaters are functional in all climates, and because they are essentially powered by sunlight, they do not cost anything in terms of generating power.
How Solar Water Heaters Function
Solar water heaters typically run off of a two-part system that includes a solar collector as well as a storage tank. While passive solar water heaters do not have circulating pumps and control, active solar water heaters do. The storage tank must be insulated well, and often includes two tanks — one where the heating element preheats the water, and a second conventional water heater tank. Other systems run based off of a single tank, combining the two-tank functionality into one that includes both the solar storage unit and the heater.
The U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division has created an extremely helpful guide which features details about solar water heaters work, the mechanics involved, how best to select a water heating system, estimating and comparing costs and system installation tips.
Additional Solar Water Heater Resources
Check out the website of SolarRoofs.com, manufacturers of attractive and easy to install solar water heating collectors and systems.
You’ll find information on installation, specific units and state and local programs that may assist you in financing your solar water heating system.
Find an article here from MotherEarthNews, entitled “A Homemade Solar Water Heater” by William J. Weber. Weber discusses how he devised “a simple and inexpensive water warmer that [he] knew ‘[…] regular folks’ would be able to build.” And what’s even better — all of the benefits of solar water heating, in only three simple steps.
Here’s more details available to the consumer, who will be well served by educating themselves before purchasing: brought to you by Toolbase.org. According to Toolbase, “Solar energy can meet part or all of a home’s domestic hot water needs. Geographic location, system design, collector orientation, and collector size will determine how much energy can be provided for domestic hot water heating.” Find out more on their informational page.
For a comprehensive breakdown of which solar water heating systems are right for any type of climate, visit the website at Solar Direct, who offer a Guide to Solar Water Heating Systems for consumers.
City and Local Program Information on Solar Power Systems
Many local and state-level government agencies offer attractive incentive packages for city dwellers, both commercial and residential in nature, for the implementation of successful solar power units. A simple search, for the most part, of some keyword combination of “solar your city name” should be a good start. For instance, take a look at the top notch program run by the City of Santa Monica, called Solar Santa Monica.
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