Solar-powered water heating is an efficient and cost effective alternative to traditional home water heating systems. Costs for regular water heaters can account for a high percentage of your monthly utility bills — up to 25 percent in many cases. A solar water heater can be a wise choice because the fuel used to heat your water — sunshine — is plentiful and free.
Solar water heating systems include a solar energy collection unit, usually installed on the roof of your house, and a storage tank for the hot water.
There are three main types of solar collectors:
- Flat-plate collector — Glazed flat-plate collectors are insulated boxes that contain a dark absorber plate placed under a covering of glass or polymer plastic. Flat plate collectors are very common in home solar power systems.
- Integral collector/storage systems — Also called ICS or batch systems, this type has water pass through the solar collector, where it is preheated, then moved into a standard water heater, where the heating process is completed.
- Evacuated-tube solar collectors — Evacuated-tube collectors use glass and metal tubes to collect and apply solar energy. These types of collectors are found most often in commercial settings.
Before installing a residential solar water heating system, carefully evaluate your home’s solar resource, which is the amount of sunlight available for the heater to use. Solar systems can apply both direct and diffuse solar radiation to generate heat and power, meaning that the sun doesn’t always have to shine directly on the solar collectors for the heating system to work. Even if your home doesn’t get frequent direct sunlight, you may still be able to use solar water heating. A house with unshaded areas facing southward, for example, is a good candidate for a solar system.
Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing has been a reliable source of HVAC sales and service in Grand Traverse County and the five surrounding counties for over 30 years. Our NATE-certified technicians provide high-quality service and repair performed to exacting industry standards. Contact us todayfor answers to your questions about solar water heating and to see if a solar water heater is right for your home’s hot water needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about solar water heater and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Team Bob’s services Traverse City, Michigan and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!
Solar Water Heater image via Shutterstock