Humanity has traveled the distance since heating water over a campfire. The concept is simplistic and has not varied over the years, procuring a source and means of heat exchange. There has always been three ways of heating water, wood, electricity and gas.
With technological advancements, we have developed other methods of achieving man’s need for hot water. One of the best ways is the use of the sun or alternative solar energy, an atomic energy source that is constant and available for all to employ.
The means of acquiring energy from the sun has been with us for many years and because of this the principles of doing so passes the test of time by the refinement of these accounting standards. The peaked enthusiasm and the investment of time and resources into the development of this free energy have multiplied in the utilization of solar energy in the past years. Because of this, everyone can benefit by the technological advancements this industry has developed.
The solar water heater s of today has been refined to the stage of sophistication effective as to rival the standards water heaters today, comparably gas and electric. A solar absorption system can easily heat water for a home up to a scalding 135 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. There are initial investments to contribute but realistically, in a very short time you will recoup those investments.
The basics of the technology are simplistic, a heat collector and a storage tank, but how exactly does all this work? How does the energy from the sun transform into a nice hot shower? This can become confusing although you would not think it would but there are certain variations to complete this computation of physics and that is where the confusion begins. The confusion multiplies with the marketplace being flooded with systems and certain options to choose, whether useful or nonsensical.
To start with there are systematic strategies that form two types of solar water heaters, passive and active. There are also other elements that one must consider due to certain influences pertaining to the system and that must be logically deduced to be advantageous for your home, or business for that matter. Both systems gather thermal radiation from the sun into solar panels and both can serve the majority if not the entire household’s hot water needs, at the same time can diminish substantially on energy costs.
Passive solar water heater distributes water through use of a process called natural convection. Natural convection is a chemical mechanism, or type of heat transport. The fluid movement is not rendered by any outside source like a pump but only by relative density variations in the fluid arising due to temperature variants. Fluid encompassing a heat source obtains heat, becomes less dense and rises. The cooler liquid then moves up to replace it. The colder fluid is then heated and the procedure sustains the process. This forms a convection stream and because of the movement, proper acceleration forms continuing the cycle.
An active solar water heating system involves the use of a circulation pump. This pump does not necessarily mean using household current to operate. With the use of collecting the sun’s energy by means of photoelectric cells, you can still maintain a closed, energy free system.
There are pros and cons for each system. The flow of water in the passive system will cease to flow if the heat gathering process stops, but an active system will continue to circulate. The passive system will allow you to maintain your hot water but in some systems, the active method may actually cool your water by recirculating causing your hot water to cool. With both systems, there may be installed mechanical checks to create an equilibrium to balance the processes such as heat controllers. This also is dependent upon your location and the intensity of your yearly exposure to the sun.
It is noteworthy to mention that with either system water does not necessarily have to be used. There are commercial fluids that have a higher conductivity rate than water capable of absorbing more heat. With that said, an addition of an extra heat converter will need to be installed, transferring heat from the collector’s absorption fluid to the water and into the holding tank.
As mentioned above there are factors that influence the involvement of an efficient solar water heater. The style and size of the system needed coinciding with the size of your home, the particular climate of the region your home is in and the accessibility and dependability of the sun’s exposure.
No matter which system you decide upon the most important part of the system is the collector and the most common, and efficient is referred to as the ”flat plate” configuration. Its basic structure consists of a flat box with radiator style tubes within. Admittedly quite simple, but with the addition of technology this box becomes unique. The box needs to absorb as much heat as possible without emanating the heat back into the ambient outside air. To accomplish this the box is insulated with state-of-the-art insulations along with special interior coating in the box and covering the fluid lines inside. These special coating are developed to absorb an enormous amount of heat and trapping it, not allowing it to effuse backwards. With the further implementation of a quality silicate or a silicon nitride glass panel, you possess a great collector.
Another method is focused energy absorption. Typically, but not exclusively, the system uses a parabolic dish or other configuration to reflect and concentrate the rays of the sun. The concentration of heat is focused to a specific area where a collector is placed soaking up the reflected sunlight and intensified heat. A good analogy would be compounding light, to focus it in creation of a laser.
Yet another method is called the evacuated tube design where your collection lines travel through a glass insulator that contains a vacuum. The vacuum has very good insulation qualities. Although popular and effective as it is, in time, the risk involved would be the degeneration of the tubes and eventual loss of vacuum within the glass tubes. Logically, this would not be considered a low maintenance, worry free system in comparison to the others.
Solar power is an amazing economic alternative energy allowing you to decrease your hot water energy consumption from 50 to 95 percent contingent on the area you live in. Solar water heater technology is now beneficial in operating in most climates at sensible prices. Definable systems have been specialized and designed to accommodate different areas and climates.
The way energy costs are compounding, almost on a monthly basis, this savings may be more advantageous for you in the future. With the increasing market on these systems, there are enough manufacturing companies to set in motion competitive pricing creating an atmosphere of even more cost savings. Other than saving you money, you also can lessen your carbon footprint here on our home planet.