Save on Your Home Hot Water Heating Costs by Installing a Solar Hot Water Heating System
By Mark J. Donovan
||Solar hot water heating systems have come a long way since the days of large black pipes crisscrossing roofs. Today’s energy efficient solar hot water heaters consist of a couple of solar collector panels mounted on the roof that look similar to standard sky lights, and a hot water tank located in a basement, garage, or utility room. Between the solar collector panels and hot water tank a Glycol fluid, or potable water itself, runs through them to transfer the suns energy and provide hot water to your home. The temperate of the Glycol fluid based systems can reach as high as 400oF and can easily generate 120 to 160oF hot water temperatures in your home.
A back up hot water heating booster system running off of electricity or gas is also typically installed to ensure that even on cloudy days your home has plenty of hot water.
If your home faces south or southwest it’s a prime candidate for a solar hot water heater system. Even if you live in northern latitudes you can still significantly benefit from installing a solar hot water heating system. Currently there are nearly 2 million homes in the United States that are using solar hot water heaters and the rate of installations continues to grow. With 2 or 3 skylight size solar collector panels mounted on your roof, requiring less than 100 square feet of area, and an 80 or 120 gallon hot water tank located in a utility room, you can reduce your home energy costs by as much as 80%.
|In addition, many states and utility companies offer rebates on the installation of a hot water heating system. As a result, the installation cost of a typical solar hot water heater system can be recouped within 3 to 7 years. In most cases, if you elect to include the cost of a solar hot water heater system in your mortgage when building a new home, the home energy cost savings are higher than the incremental increase in your monthly mortgage payments.
There are two main types of solar hot water heater systems, passive solar systems, and active solar systems. Passive solar systems utilize convection and/or heat pipes to circulate Glycol fluid or water through them to heat the potable water.
Active solar hot water heater systems use pumps to circulate the Glycol fluid or water through the system. The passive systems cost less and are low maintenance however they are less efficient than the active systems.
Velux has had a long history of making skylights and they have gone to great lengths to introduce solar collector panels that look nearly the same as conventional window skylights. Again, with just 2 or 3 solar collector panels from Velux you can produce all the hot water your family will ever need.
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