It is no big secret that water heating eats up a big chunk of your energy budget. According to the Department of Energy, water heating is responsible for approximately 17% of a home’s energy bill.
Installing a high-quality solar water heater is the most straightforward solution to cut down your energy bill. The DOA has calculated that a solar water heater can potentially reduce your water heater expenses from 50 to 80%. So, practically, you will be netting about $100 to $200 per month on account of your solar panel.
To generate more savings, you need to ensure that you choose the right solar technology. In addition, you need to select the one that is best suitable for your climate.
Active Closed Loop Systems: Heating with Antifreeze
When living in a cold region, first you to consider an active closed-loop system. In these systems, the water is circulated with the help of either a solar-powered or an electric pump. The circulating water is warmed up in a flat plate collector made to make the most of sunlight. By pumping the antifreeze solution through the pipes, they avoid being frozen and bursting.
Thermosyphon systems are also often used in areas with colder weather. In thermosyphon systems, the heated water is kept in a storage tank installed indoors. As a result, the heater water tends to stay warmer than if the storage tank was outside. The catch with these systems is that they are passive. That means they rely on gravity to move the water through it.
These systems rely on a part called a collector. Thanks to the collector, the water can absorb the sunlight before being used in your home. Typically, there is an insulated water tank right above the flat plate collector.
The evacuated tube collectors feature a setup of glass tubes. Each of them surrounds a copper tube filled with a heat transferable fluid. After the sun hits the tube, the fluid starts boiling, which warms the water. This technology significantly minimizes heat losses that happen in plate collectors. Thanks to this, your solar panel unit can work without a problem in very low temperatures.
These systems are best suitable in areas where temperatures tend to drop significantly. These systems come with shut-off controls that can drain antifreeze or water out of your collector when needed. This is the reason why these systems are special. There is no danger from water being frozen in the water storage tank.
When choosing one solar heater system, you should know about freeze-protection measures implemented in your system, just like other systems. For example, it is possible to combine an evacuated tube collector with a closed-loop system. An experienced engineer or even a water heater salesperson should be able to make that happen for you. Otherwise, they may at least point you towards the optimal solar solution for your area.