There are many ways to save money when it`s about the expenses of a home and one of them is purchasing and using a solar water heater system. Solar water heaters can be used in any climate and they function with a free fuel: sunshine.
Solar water heaters are either active or passive. The active ones use circulating pumps, while the passive ones use gravity to circulate the water. Regardless the type, they comprise two major components: storage tanks and solar collectors.
In one-tank systems the solar storage and the back-up heater are combined within a single tank, while in two-tank systems the system preheats water before it goes into the conventional water heater. As for the solar collectors, there are three types: flat-plate collector, integral collector-storage systems and evacuated-tube solar collectors.
Active solar water heaters can be either direct or indirect circulation systems. In direct circulation systems the pumps circulate water through the collectors and into the house with no additional feature, but it is recommended to use them in climates where it does not freeze. The indirect circulation systems comprise also a heat-transfer fluid and a heat exchanger, as they are used in areas where it freezes.
Passive solar water heaters are cheaper and more reliable than the active ones, but they are also less effective. There are two types of passive systems: integral collector-storage passive systems and thermosyphon systems. The first type is suitable for climates where it rarely freezes, while the second type is more expensive and it consists in a system that makes the warm water rise as cool water sinks.
There are many things to consider before buying solar water heaters . First make a realistic evaluation of the place`s solar resource and decide on the most suitable system. Estimate and compare the costs and also make sure your solar water heating system includes a backup system for cloudy days. It is also important to know local codes and regulations concerning the installation of this kind of device.
Since there are many factors that influence installing solar water heaters, the best advice is to let professional do this job, so you should opt for a solar thermal systems contractor.