Solar Water Heating System

by | May 3, 2024

Solar water heating system

With the changes in time, people are switching to solar water heating systems as they clean energy and lower water bills. Solar water heating systems heat water without using energy grids, drawing their power from the sun.

Solar water heaters use clean energy to heat water, unlike fossil fuels or coal used with gas or electric heaters. According to the reports of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), it predicts the use of solar energy will increase with the changes in time. 

Before moving forward, let’s understand how these solar water heaters work.

How Does a Solar Water Heater Work?

The solar water heater consists of a water tank, a water inlet, a water outlet, and a solar heating area. When the water heater is placed towards the sun, it catches its rays and converts the solar energy to heat the water inside the tank. The water inlet flushes the warm water from the outlet to the taps in the bathroom and kitchen.

There are mainly two types of solar water heaters available in the market: Active solar water heaters and Passive solar water heaters.

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Components of Solar Water Heating System

The main components of the solar water heating system are as follows:

1)- Solar Collector

The solar collector is the component of the solar water system that collects energy from the sun and converts it into heat. There are two types of solar collectors: evacuated tube collectors and flat plate collectors. Evacuated tube collectors consist of different series of tubes with a vacuum inside that helps reduce the collector’s heat loss and efficiency. A flat plate consists of an insulated box with a glazed surface that allows sunlight to pass and convert it into heat.

2)- Storage Tank

The storage tank is made of stainless steel. Its size usually depends on the hot water requirements of the home, building, or industry. The tank is connected to the solar collector, and water flows through the pipes

3)- Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat from the solar collector to the tank’s water. As the water in the solar collector is heated, it flows through the exchanger, and then the water is used for its

4)- Pump

 The pump is the device that circulates water between the solar collector and the storage tank. The pump is an important part of the solar hot water system as it ensures the water is circulating and heat is being

5)- Controller

The controller is a device that manages the water temperature in the storage tank and controls the other system components. It is an important component as it maintains the desired temperature.

Major Advantages of Solar Water Heating System

Some of the major advantages of solar water heating systems are as follows:

1)- Fuel Saving

When you use fossil fuels like natural gas to heat your water, gas gets released into the atmosphere. With solar hot water systems, you can save fuel, and you can be 100 percent sure that you’re using zero-emissions renewable resources for your water heating needs.

2)- Zero Cost

The solar panel uses energy from the sun, which means you do not have to pay a single penny to the power grid for electricity. As a renewable source of energy, it is free and available every day.

3)- Reliable

One primary reason is that it is one of the most reliable sources of energy. It usually converts almost 80% of radiation into heat energy without the use of any external fuels.

4)- Environment Friendly

Solar water pumps are a green alternative with minimal environmental impact. By harnessing the power of sun, they reduce dependence on fossil fuels hence contributing to a cleaner environment. 

Solar Water Heaters Installing Procedure

Certain points should be kept in mind while installing a solar water heating system are as follows:

1)- Solar Collectors need to be mounted on the roof of your house:

The main stage is installing solar collectors on the roof. Instead of running through the roof, the pipe can be installed on a roof and run through a vertical wall.

2)- A Storage Tank is Installed:

The next phase is installing the storage tank. You must ensure that glycol loop connections to the heat exchanger are accessible. Unions must be installed at the storage tank, and heat exchanger connections must be made to prevent the piper from cutting.

3)- Attach the Pump with Pipes:

The next stage is building the pipework and the pump. It would be best if you put the glycol loop with the solder. Install unions at the pump. A pressure gauge must be set up alongside an expansion tank. The cold water energy must be connected to the intake of the solar storage tank.

4)- The controls are attached to it:

The controls must be installed. You can further install other controls and accessories such as a bypass valve, a high-temperature radiator loop, and a tempering valve.

5)- Fill up your system:

The next action to be taken is to fill up the system. By adding water to the glycol loop, you can detect the leaks. Make sure there is no air in the loop before doing this.

6)- Insulating Water:

The last step is insulating the water and glycol lines for your solar water heater. To do this, use regular foam pipe insulation.

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Factors to consider while installing Solar Water Heater

Certain factors to keep in mind while installing solar water heater are as follows:

1)- Location and Inclination of the Roof

An area with adequate sunlight should be selected for solar panel installation. Another aspect is the inclination of the roof as surface of installation should be well inclined to enhance good angle of interaction between sun ray’s and system surface.

2)- Maintenance Requirement

Solar water heater requires very little maintenance, but it is important to know the maintenance requirements while installing it. Passive systems requires less maintenance as compared to the active ones. When choosing a solar water heater system, it is important to know the performance and maintenance requirements. Make sure there is no leakage of pipes and that the timely cleaning of collectors is done. 

3)- Cost

It is important to know about the costs of solar water heater while installing one. Solar water heater comes in different sizes and may vary according to their features.  

4)- Choosing the right company

To install solar panels, you need to seek professional help who will guide you through everything. You will require an installer who will help you inspect your premises, complete paperwork, and provide consistent after-sales service once the installation is done.

5)- Amount of Energy

The energy required usually depends on where the solar heater will be installed. It would be less for homes than for industries and commercial places. 

6)- Backup System

A backup heating system like electric or gas ensures hot water is always available, even when the sunlight isn’t there.

Uses of Solar Water Heater

The different uses of solar water heaters are as follows:

Domestic Use

The solar water heater can be used for heating water in apartments, bungalows, flats, and houses.

Commercial Use

The solar water heater can be used in commercial places such as dormitories, hostels, hospitals, and hotels.

Industrial Use

In modern times, many industries use solar water heaters. Industries need hot water for different purposes, such as washing, preheating, or other processes.

Cost of Solar Water Heaters

There are different solar product manufacturers and retailers in India. The products may vary in quality, durability, and dependability followed by price. The cost of solar heater may vary between 18000- 60000 depending on certain factors.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Solar Water Heaters

The factors that influence the cost of solar water heaters are as follows:

1)- Warranty

Water heaters with longer warranties usually cost more as compared to other water heaters. A longer warranty of water heater usually means peace of mind, as comparison to others.

2)- Brand and Quality

One major factor is brand and quality of water heater that affects the price. Brands with higher quality provide heaters that have high prices.

3)- Installation Cost

Cost of installation may vary according to the complexity of the job. Some installation may require changes in home plumbing or electric part.

4)- Size and Capacity

The size and capacity also influence the price. The size depends on the water usage whereas large capacity water heaters are more costly as compared to other water heaters.

5)- Energy Efficiency

The energy is often indicated by its Energy Factor rating. The higher the EF rating, the more reliable is water heater.

Conclusion

Solar water heating systems use renewable energy sources. This helps you save 70-80% of electricity or fuel bills, reducing your carbon footprint.

Due to their low operating cost and minimal maintenance, they are an economically viable option for many commercial and industrial businesses. 

Today, various educational institutions, governments, industries, and companies use solar water heating systems. These institutions’ use of solar heaters together is bringing a huge change in the environment, promoting green energy solutions and environmental sustainability.


Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia, an engineering graduate with a diverse background, has been passionate about entrepreneurship since age 13. Founder of edtech startup Technoshaala, Bhuwan now focuses on leading his innovative water management startup, FLOTAA, in Kanpur to create sustainable solutions.
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