This Article is About
solar water heaters
storage units
storage system
electrical outlet
solar panels
fossil fuels
Solar Water Heaters Are Able To Make Efficient And Money-saving Utilization Of Solar Energy
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Nothing is more jarring than a hot shower that abruptly turns ice cold. Most of us take the constant availability of hot water for granted, at least until it runs out. Most of our water heaters run on fossil fuels, and the supply is finite. And, the prices of oil and natural gas continue to increase every year as the supply diminishes due to natural or political causes.

There is a fuel, however, which costs absolutely nothing once the proper collection equipment has been seated. The transition from fossil to sun-based power is usually best done by a solar thermal systems technician who is familiar with all the details of installation. He or she will take into consideration the regional climate, including the average amount of sunlight available during any given year.

Included in this process are the roof-top solar collectors and the connected storage units. They often fall into two popular types of systems, including the passive-type system, which does not require a pump. The active system, however, does come with a pump and its controls. All systems in general require the installation of at least one storage tank, and sometimes more.

Solar collectors can be roof-mounted on most homes. Residences typically use one of three kinds normally available, including the integral collector and storage system, evacuated tube solar collectors, or flat-plate collectors. These panels are visible on the roof, but do not usually seem overly intrusive or esthetically unpleasant. They allow the sunlight to warm their outer coatings, and it creates "long wave heat", which cannot escape from the system.

The heat gets transferred from the solar panels into a storage tank. This is accomplished in some systems through use of a special fluid. Once heated, it is pumped to an insulated storage tank by an electric pump. These pumps may run on the power from a conventional electrical outlet, or may make use of a small photovoltaic device. Once stored, the contents are ready for the next shower or load of laundry.

The supply will not suddenly disappear, even during periods of heavy use. Solar storage tanks are designed to be large enough to last throughout the night, or through those days when the sun does not shine strongly. The systems usually have a backup powered by conventional sources. The tanks, however, are designed with ultra-efficiency, and will absorb and store the maximum amount of light available.

If switching to solar power is in your future, begin the process by screening contractors. Make sure a company has the necessary experience installing and properly maintaining such a system, and that its technicians have complete knowledge and training in this specialized area. Check for the proper local license and certification for your area. When old water heaters die, consider replacing that system with modern, solar-powered equipment that will save thousands of dollars over time.


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