Reliable Passive Solar Water Heating

Solar powered water heating systems come in two basic types, both of which can be beneficial to the individual’s home or business setting in that they save on energy bills related to the use of hot water. All of these systems also have a backup heater so that the water can be heated on days when there is no sunlight to be found to do the job. This is especially important in climates that have many cloudy days during the winter months since no family wants to have to spend their days bathing or cleaning without hot water. The active solar water heating units are usually used in colder climates, especially the one that uses antifreeze in the pipes to serve to heat the water in the storage tank. Passive solar water heating units are usually used in warmer areas where the temperatures do not drop below freezing for more than a few hours during the night in the winter time.

How It Works

A passive solar water heating system comes in two basic types. There is the integral collector passive solar water heating system which is used only in areas where the temperatures do not reach freezing. There is also the thermosyphon system which is used in slightly colder climates but still not those where the temperatures fall below freezing on a regular basis. This system is the more expensive of the two passive solar water heating systems to use.

When the system is installed, the roof needs to be checked to make sure that it will hold the storage tank, which is very heavy with the weight of the water inside of it. In addition, there must be room for the collector to be lower than the storage tank so that the hot water can rise up into the tank and the colder water stay in the collection tank. The way the passive solar water heating system works is that the cold water begins in the collection tank where the solar panels are to collect the heat from the sun. As the water gets warmer, it is pushed to the top of the collection tank and is forced through the pipes into the storage tank where the backup water heater is also stored. From the storage tank the water travels into the home whenever the hot water is needed.

Although the passive solar water heating systems are usually more reliable and can last longer than the active systems because there are less motorized parts, they also are not as efficient as the active systems since the water is not being moved past the panels to heat it more quickly.

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