With the advancement in technology, many designs of solar hot water systems are now kicking into the market. Most consumers are left in dilemma on the choice to make. Are you also affected? This article will offer you the best knowledge and evaluation of different solar heaters.
The main classes of solar hot water systems
Environment scale varies i.e. with different weather patterns and topographic features. These will dictate the level of solar energy and type of water available, which are the raw materials of the system. Besides, the intended application type will define the capacity of the equipment to use. Here are a few classes; hard water systems, pressured type, and normal application systems.
Common types of solar hot water systems
Below is a representation of the solar heater system,
Solar heaters function similarly but vary with the type of heat exchange unit in place. The solar hot water system can either be a direct or indirect heater unit.
1. Direct water circulation systems – water is channeled straight to the collectors from the supply unit. This is only done in the presence of solar radiation to heat the water, which is then directed to a storage tank. Collector freezing is eliminated by draining the collectors during cloudy hours or by recirculating the hot water in the system.
This system performs best in environments with infrequent freezing temperatures.
2. Indirect systems – these use a fluid medium to transfer heat from the collectors to the water. The fluid must have antifreeze property or be protected from such. Commonly used fluid solutions include water-propylene or water-ethylene glycols. Air is also widely used in air systems.
Other types of solar hot water systems
a) Air systems – is a type of indirect systems and the air is used as the fluid for heat exchange. There are two main types i.e. porous and nonporous flow systems. They have no freezing threats, are compact in design, air leakage does not corrode any part, and they minimize overheating of collectors.
However, these systems are limited to areas with high solar radiation for efficient heat transfer. In addition, the air loses heat quickly hence cannot be used as a storage media.
b) Thermosiphon systems – liquids such as glycol are used for heat transmission. It does not require the installation of pumps as heated water is channeled into the storage tanks by convection from the collector unit. This means that the tank should be at a higher altitude than the heating unit should.
The absence of pumps makes it cheaper and simple to design. However, installation is complicated and expensive since most operating units must be on the rooftop. In addition, it is limited to soft water and antifreeze environments.
c) Drain down heater systems – is a type of indirect systems. Water heating takes place through a circulation that involves heat exchange. For antifreeze functions, collector fluid is drained from the collectors by gravity. It works best in all environments but suffers from corrosion and heat losses.
The best type of solar hot water systems
This will mainly depend on the type you select but it must adhere to your environmental setup. Now you are part of the larger society going for solar hot water systems, stand up, and add value to your home. For more information, click here.