During the earlier years, water heaters were basically black large metal containers heated several hours under the sun. Containers were painted in black since the color is a good heat conductor. Through the container, the water stored inside is also heated. Although the process is simple, heating water this way is indeed time consuming. With technological innovation, a quicker and more efficient system is developed, which is now called a solar water heater.
What You Need to Know
A solar water heater, as the name implies, makes use of the sunlight to warm water. It works in two different types: the active system or the passive system. An active system makes use of an electric pump to circulate the heat-transfer fluid, while the passive system has no pump at all.
In an active system, water heater is further characterized as open loop or closed loop. The main difference between the two is that an open loop system (also called “direct”) requires a collector to circulate household water while a closed loop system (also called “indirect”) uses a heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and the heat exchanger.
On the other hand, the passive system is classified into two types: the integral collector-storage passive systems and the thermosyphon systems. The former type is best suited for areas where temperatures rarely drop below freezing point, while the latter type relies on the natural convection of warm water.
How Does it Work
Take a look at this: when you leave a glass of iced water under the sun for a certain period of time, the ice will melt and makes a hot glass of water after a while. The same principle applies to a solar water heater, only that it works faster than that and it has a device called a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is where the water is actually heated by the sun, thus making it a key element of the heater device. Other parts include pumps, insulated storage tanks, temperature gauges, and anti-freeze valves.
The type, size and complexity of your desired solar water heater is mostly determined by several factors, including the temperature and amount of water you require from the unit, as well as the day-night cycle and seasonal changes in temperature and solar radiation. It’s also important to consider the aspects of fluid overheating during the summertime or fluid freezing in the winter season. If the system has been designed accurately, it can provide at least 40 to 60 percent of hot water requirements throughout the year.
Benefits You Enjoy
Solar water heater is gaining popularity mainly because it helps cut costs and saves energy. Anyone can install heaters in their home easily and in cost-effective way. The heater also heats water faster compared to the electrical water heaters. Commercialized electrical heaters consume a lot of power hence increasing electricity bills. On the reverse side, having a water heater powered by the sun greatly reduces your electricity consumption.
Since the solar water heater is naturally powered by the sun’s energy, it also proves to be beneficial to the environment. It is considered to be eco-friendly since it does not make use of gas or other sources to produce heat.