Solar power and renewable energy have become increasingly popular in society. Through government support, many industries in the US have created a variety of solar powered products. People want to adopt these new technologies, but many are not sure how to do it. Here are some facts about solar water heaters to help people better understand.
What is a solar water heater?
It is a system that uses energy from sunlight to heat water. Solar water heaters must be installed on a roof top or in an open space, or anywhere that sunlight can easily reach. The energy gained from the sun is stored in an insulated tank and used to heat water. The system does not use any electricity, so it does not have a power switch. The sunlight that is absorbed throughout the day is stored and can be used at any time.
Different types of solar water heaters
- Batch collectors, also known as integrated collector-storage: These use dark tanks or tubes to keep water insulated. It can remain in this collector for long periods of time, and the system uses a tempering valve to protect you from scalding water. The valve mixes in cold water to decrease the temperature before delivering it to your shower or tap.
- Flat-plate collectors: This system consists of copper tubes that are fitted to flat absorber plates. This collector can hold up to 40 gallons of water, but at least four collectors would be needed for a family of four.
- Evacuated tube collectors: These are the most efficient collectors available on the market. A metal tube is used to transfer fluid to a larger glass tube, and the space is vacuum sealed to prevent the water from losing heat.
How does it perform on rainy/overcast days?
This is the biggest concern for people considering a solar water heater. The systems are still able to work if it is overcast, however, many systems won’t be able to run properly if it is overcast for more than a couple days. During bad weather conditions, a solar system can be integrated with an electric system to act as a backup. The electric system will automatically turn on if the water temperature from the solar system drops below 100 degrees.
Using the most advanced evacuated tube collectors, the system should still be able to operate even if the temperature drops as low as -40 degrees.
Cost of a solar water heater
Naturally, the cost of each system varies. Evacuated tube collectors are the most expensive systems, while flat-plate collectors are the cheapest system available. On average, a solar water heater will cost around $7,000. This can seem like a large amount of money initially, but the savings will be worth it. A solar water heater will pay for itself in about 10 to 14 years. On average, people typically save about $23 a month.
If you are considering getting a solar water heater, consult with an expert at JMAC Plumbing & Air Conditioning. The plumbers have over 30 years of experience and provide quality service to every customer. For more information about Las Vegas plumbing services, contact 702.227.5622.