WHAT IS A SOLAR WATER HEATING?
Solar water heaters—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—is free.
Solar heating systems generally comprise solar thermal collectors, a fluid system that moves the heat from the collector to its point of usage. The method may use electricity for pumping the fluid and have a reservoir or tank for heat storage and subsequent use.
On average, a solar water heater will reduce your water heating bills by 50% – 80%. Because the sun is free, you’re protected from future fuel shortages and price hikes.
Other financial incentives include:
• Anticipated payback period of 3 to 7 years, in years with state and federal incentives.
• Solar energy systems can use the sun’s free energy year-round.
• Solar energy can be produced even at low temperatures.
• Federal tax credits help pay 30% of the system and installation costs. Many states and utilities offer additional support.
• Between tax credits and energy savings, this system offers a faster return on your investment than other solar energy systems.
• Solar energy is an unlimited resource.
• Solar energy does not produce harmful emissions or require transportation or pipelines like electric power.
• Solar water heating systems installed in the U.S. help reduce household energy consumption and the nation’s reliance on toxic fossil fuels.
• Solar water heating systems will work anywhere in the U.S., not just in sunny states.
Solar Hot Water – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
• How many panels will it take to provide my family with hot water, and what do the panels look like?
A typical single-family residence typically has one or two solar collector panels on the roof. The panels resemble skylights and will be about 4 feet wide and 8 to 10 feet long.
• How much hot water does a typical family use?
Hot water usage in the U.S. is typically 15 to 30 gallons (55-110 l) per person daily for home use. This generally includes bathing, clothes washing, and dishwashing. But your commitment to efficiency has much to do with your actual usage.
• Do you need to install a hot water tank? What size would be required?
The hot water tank is usually sized to handle one day’s consumption. So, for a household of four, it would be reasonable to use an 80-gallon (300 l) tank based on daily hot water requirements of 20 gallons (75 l) per person daily.
• What about in the winter when it freezes?
In some areas, solar water heating systems may require some measure of freeze protection. Although many systems are used today, drain-back and closed-loop systems with antifreeze and heat exchangers are the best for freezing locations. The extra parts increase cost and reduce efficiency, but since one frozen moment can become a disaster, it’s worth the price.
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE:
You will find that there is little, if anything, for you to do once we have started your system and checked its operation for the first time. Properly designed solar water heaters are completely automatic and are left in process year-round. Active systems have a small electronic control with one or more indicator lights to let you know if there is a malfunction.
Call today to schedule a free site evaluation to see if a solar hot water system can benefit you.