Posts Tagged ‘Solar Hot Water Systems’

The Different Types of Solar Hot Water Systems

Monday, August 4th, 2014

When it comes to making a transition to using clean, renewable solar energy for your home, one of the best places to start is with a solar hot water system. Compared to other solar installations, solar water heaters are relatively inexpensive, quick to install, and take up little space. They make an excellent introduction to the advantages of using the power of the sun as a substitute for more expensive forms of energy.

Solar hot water systems for New Hampshire do not come in “one size fits all” configurations. There are different models and ways they use the Sun to heat water. The two main types are passive and active water heaters; there is also the option for direct systems. To find out which of these is the better installation for your home, call the solar professionals at HB Energy Solutions. We specialize in helping people find new ways to power their homes.

The basics of solar water heaters

Passive and active solar water heaters share many elements in common. They use a solar collector installed on the roof a home that absorbs energy from the sun. Inside the solar collector are tubes that hold refrigerant which collects the heat from the sun. The refrigerant then travels down to a water tank, where a heat exchanger moves the heat absorbed by the refrigerant to the water in the tank. (The water tank can also have a gas or electric heating system attached as a back-up should the solar collector not gather enough heat.)

Passive water heaters

A passive system does not use a pump to circulate the refrigerant from the collector plate and down into the heat exchanger, but instead relies on the convection current from the heated refrigerant itself. These systems are a less expensive option and require almost no maintenance because of the lack of moving parts. However, they are less efficient than active systems, and they must have protection from freezing during a New Hampshire winter.

Active water heaters

An active system uses pumps to circulate the refrigerant through the heat exchanger in the tank. These systems are much more efficient than passive systems and allow for more design freedom since the tank can be located farther away from the collector. Electronic controllers allow a homeowner more ways to adjust the system. Active systems do cost more than passive systems, however.

Direct water heaters

These solar hot water systes heaters do not use refrigerant or a heat exchanger. Instead they heat water directly using the solar collector. They are at risk of freezing and during hot weather can overheat, so they must be installed with caution—although they can potentially work in cold climate thanks to the development of freeze-tolerant solar collectors.

We highly recommend installing one of these solar hot water systems in New Hampshire for your home. The savings are immense: essentially, you receive free energy for your hot water.

Have the professionals at HB Energy Solutions recommend an ideal water heater model and then install it so it gives you excellent, worry-free performance.