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Home » Energy » solar energy » Solar Hot Water Heat
Solar Hot Water Heat

Solar Hot Water Heaters

Solar Hot Water Heaters are one of the most cost-effective ways to include renewable technologies into your home. Nearly 1/3 of the average electric bill is devoted to heating water in the home. Up to 80-90% of your water heating expense can be saved by installing a solar hot water system. A backup heating element provides hot water during periods of prolonged cloudy weather or heightened demand, assuring a seamless supply of household hot water. Your solar hot water system will provide immediate savings, reduced energy consumption, reduced pollution, and added value. 


Solar Water Heating Systems
Solar hot water units are investments of a lifetime, with a solar hot water unit, electricity savings can be as high as 85% and the more you use it the more the savings. The systems are available in different designs and specifications for commercial/institutional or swimming pool heating.
The system consists of a heat collecting panel and an insulated water storage tank. During the day, the sun shines on the solar panel heating the water. This water rises into the tank because of the principle of thermosiphoning which also causes a displacement effect in the tank. The cold water inside the tank flows into the heat collecting panel to get heated and this process gets repeated until all the water gets heated up. This water is stored in the hot water tank for use later. (This water is available hot the following morning)
Did you know;

•    Solar water heating is one of the most practical and proven technologies of utilizing the sun’s energy
•    Has zero running costs, offering better value for money
•    Is unaffected by power cuts
•    Require minimal maintenance
•    It taps a safe, clean Inexhaustible energy source

Solar energy helps protect the environment from pollution and damage that other heating can cause, but did you know that unless your solar hot water system is efficient and durable you could be paying unnecessary electric/wood booster costs.
Solar World offers a wide range of solar heating solutions no matter your climatic conditions or area you are leaving in. We have solar systems designed to meet the water conditions and your family’s usage.
Talk to our experts about your family needs and we can workout the best way to help you save up to 95% on water heating costs. Solar World also utilizes the evacuated tube technology for solar water heating systems, this is a well proven water heating technology.
Solar Water Heating Systems have very short payback period. After that period, you start enjoying additional savings on energy bill..


Why pay more when you could have your solar heater running on absolutely free energy from the sun?
Life Expectancy
Our systems have an expected lifespan of 20 years with minimal maintenance. Our guarantee on the system is 5 years.

Solar Thermal  Energy
The Sun is the most abundant permanent source of energy for its planet Earth.. Solar thermal energy, heating water with energy from the sun, is an entirely renewable, reliable and cost-efficient energy source. A typical residential solar water-heating system reduces the need for conventional water heating by two thirds ; making such installations and attractive option for both homes and businesses.
We can see from the residential energy consumption patterns that about 28% of the energy is used in water. The energy in solar radiation can be used directly or indirectly for all of our energy needs in daily life, including heating,. Since for this water heating use of  renewable energy resources creating enormous amount of GHG, 


In Australia
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 7 per cent of Australian households used solar energy for heating water in 2008, an estimated 600,000 homes. This represents a 61 per cent increase on 2005, when only 4 per cent of households had solar hot water and the installed solar water heater capacity was just 429 megawatts. By the end of 2007, the International Energy Agency measured solar water heater capacity ataround 1300 megawatts.
Adoption of solar water heating can have a great impact on the reduction of peak electrical load and thus greenhouse gas emissions. For example, if approximately 1 million) of  all electric / gas water heaters in the Australia  are replaced by solar water heaters, it would reduce the peak load by about 1 GW.
Solar water heating is the most developed solar technology and is very cost-effective when life-cycle costs are considered. However, the initial costs (capital investment) of solar water heaters are many times higher than those for electric water heaters. Therefore, most people opt for electric water heaters. Like many other countries of the world, our Australian governments have adopted policies and financing mechanisms that make it easier for consumers to buy solar water heaters. For this reason the adoption of solar water heating worldwide is growing at a rate of more than 20% per year.


 
Greenhouse gas savings
One megawatt hour of solar-derived electricity avoids approximately one tonne of CO2.  Water heating accounts for one quarter of the energy used in the average Australian home and is responsible for 26 percent of total household greenhouse gas emissions.
The installation of a solar water heater will reduce the greenhouse pollution associated with water heating in the average Australian home by between 60 and 90 per cent (depending on the location).
In 2007 the Government committed to ensuring that 20 percent of Australia's electricity supply would come from renewable energy sources by 2020 by establishing the expanded national Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme. Draft legislation on the design of the expanded RET was released in December 2008 and the final legislation was passed in August 2009. Solar water heaters and heat pumps will be an important part of this expanded target.
In early 2009, the Australian government released its Energy Efficient Homes Package - a $4 billion package to improve the energy rating of Australian homes. Part of this included an increase in the existing rebate which provides existing homes with $1600 to assist with the cost of switching to solar and heat pump hot water systems. The Australian Government as part of its National Strategy for Energy Efficiency has also announced a phase out of greenhouse intensive electric hot water systems from new buildings from 2011. 


Solar heating is one of the most cost-effective ways of introducing renewable energy.

Australian Potential
The Australian Government has set a target for 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity to be sourced from renewable energy by 2020.  To achieve its renewable energy goal, an additional 45,000 gigawatt hours will need to be deployed from renewable sources by 2020. We believe that using solar water heating systems can easily help our government achieve these realistic target.
With only 7 percent of Australian homes currently fitted with solar water heaters, there is considerable potential for market growth. As awareness towards the benefits of installing solar water heating and heat pumps increases, so too will the proportion of Australians adopting the technology. Government policy and grants are expected to provide a considerable boost to sales over the next few years.


Global view
Solar hot water heating technologies are becoming widespread and contribute significantly to the water heating markets in countries like China, Turkey, Israel and parts of Europe. Dozens of other countries have smaller markets. Globally solar heating capacity was 145 gigawatts at the end of 2008, double the capacity in 2004.


Solar Hot Water
The shallow water of a lake is usually warmer than the deep water. That's because the sunlight can heat the lake bottom in the shallow areas, which in turn, heats the water. It's nature's way of solar water heating. The sun can be used in basically the same way to heat water used in buildings and swimming pools.

Types of Solar Heating Panels
There are a number of different types of solar panels. Solar panels can also be described as solar collectors. Australia typically utilises three types of solar collector.
•    Flat plate Solar Collectors / Panels
•    Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors
•    Heat Pumps

The first two types of panels are now described in more detail. Heat pumps details are given separately.


Flat Plate Solar Collectors / Panels
The most common collector normally used is called a flat-plate collector (non-concentrating). Mounted on the roof, it consists of a thin, flat, rectangular box with a transparent cover that faces the sun. Small tubes run through the box and carry the heat transfer fluid – either water or other fluid, such as an antifreeze solution – to be heated. The tubes are attached to an absorber plate, which is painted black to absorb the heat. As the sun's radiation hits the absorber plate the energy is converted to heat which transfers into the fluid. As heat builds up in the collector, it heats the fluid passing through the tubes which carries it to the hot water tank. The heated water is stored for use in an insulated storage tank just like a conventional hot water system.

Within the first category, non-concentrating (or flat-plate) solar collectors, commonly installed as roof-mounted panels, can produce temperatures up to about 100oC, with applications in the heating and cooling of buildings, and the provision of domestic hot water and industrial process heat. Medium-temperature concentrating collectors such as parabolic troughs/dishes provide temperatures of 100- 400oC, with applications in process heat,  refrigeration and electricity generation; much of the heat used in industrial processes is required at less than 250oC. Central-receiver types of solar concentrating collectors can produce temperatures as high as 2 000oC or more, and are used to generate electricity and in industrial furnace applications.


Normally all solar water heating systems for buildings have two main parts: a solar collector and a storage tank.  The storage tank then holds the hot liquid. It can be just a modified water heater, but it is usually larger and very well-insulated. Systems that use fluids other than water usually heat the water by passing it through a coil of tubing in the tank, which is full of hot fluid. 



                                                             Some Models of Flat Plate Solar Collectors




As the panel is expected to function all year round, it is be glazed to retain the heat. The whole assembly is contained in an insulated weather proof housing. Unglazed panels are typically used for solar swimming pool heating.
Solar water heating systems can be either active or passive, but the most common are active systems. Active systems rely on pumps to move the liquid between the collector and the storage tank, while passive systems rely on gravity and the tendency for water to naturally circulate as it is heated.
Swimming pool systems are simpler. The pool's filter pump is used to pump the water through a solar collector, which is usually made of black plastic or rubber. And of course, the pool stores the hot water.


Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors
This type of collector has a narrow strip of absorber coated copper that is joined to a heat pipe. The heat pipe is filled with a liquid that is designed to transfer a large amount of heat. This absorber assembly is contained within an evacuated, weather proof, glass tube.
The vacuum ensures that heat does not escape through convection and conduction.
A number of these tubes are then assembled onto a manifold. This manifold carries the fluid that heats your hot water cylinder.
   
                                                 

                                                        

                     Some Models of Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water Systems

                                              
          

Solar Heating System Buying Considerations / Tips 


If you are interested in an Energy Star qualified solar water heater for your home, consider the following before you buy.

1. Determine if your site is suitable

There are two ways to install solar water heater:

a) Roof installation.

This installation is performed if your roof is appropriate for this type of installation. 

                                   

b) Ground-mounted installation.

This method is a good choice when it is impossible to install a solar water heater on the roof and you have enough space on your land.

2. Decide what type of system meets your needs and lifestyle

A solar water heater contractor will help you determine what type and size system that best suits your needs and perform careful installation. Use a certified contractor if possible.

3. Perform a periodic maintenance

After installing a solar system, it is important to perform periodic maintenance to ensure efficient operation. In addition to hiring a qualified contractor for annual maintenance inspections, you should do a periodic checking.

a) In the solar heater unit:
• Collector is clean and not shaded
• Collector's sealing and glazing are not cracked or yellowing
• Piping and wiring are well-connected, well-insulated, and without damage
• Roof penetrations are well-sealed
b) In the home:
• Pressure relief valve is not stuck completely open or closed
• Pumps in active systems activate when the sun is shining
• Pipes are free of mineral build-up.