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 is free. 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.
The types of solar collectors are used for residential applications:
The common type of solar collector which have been in use since the 1950s. The main components of a flat plate panel are a dark coloured flat plate absorber with an insulated cover, a heat transferring liquid containing antifreeze to transfer heat from the absorber to the water tank, and an insulated backing. The flat plate feature of the solar panel increases the surface area for heat absorption. The heat transfer liquid is circulated through copper or silicon tubes contained within the flat surface plate.
The evacuated tube solar thermal system is one of the most popular solar thermal systems in operation. An evacuated solar system is the most efficient and a common means of solar thermal energy generation with a rate of efficiency of 70 per cent. As an example, if the collector generates 3000 kilowatt hours of energy in a year then 2100 kilowatt hours would be utilized in the system for heating water. The rate of efficiency is achieved because of the way in which the evacuated tube systems are constructed, meaning they have excellent insulation and are virtually unaffected by air temperatures. The collector itself is made up of rows of insulated glass tubes that contain copper pipes at their core. Water is heated in the collector and is then sent through the pipes to the water tank