Solar water heating systems or solar thermal systems use the free heat of the sun to heat domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater can be used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is not available.
How do solar hot water heating systems work?
Solar water heating systems use solar panels (called collectors) installed on the roof. They collect heat from the sun and use it to heat the water stored in the hot water tank. A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a backup to further heat the water to reach the desired temperature.
Is solar water heating right for your home?
To judge whether solar water heaters are suitable for you, there are several key issues to consider:
You will need about 5 square meters of roof space that runs from east to west, south to west, and receives direct sunlight for most of the day. However, these panels do not have to be installed on the roof. They can be fixed to the frame of a flat roof.
If you have not installed a dedicated solar cylinder, you usually need to replace the existing cylinder or add a dedicated cylinder with solar heating coils.
Most conventional boilers and hot water tank systems are compatible with solar hot water. If your boiler is a combination (or combination) boiler and you currently do not have a hot water tank, the solar water heating system may not be compatible.
Costs, Savings And Financial Support
The cost of installing a typical solar hot water system is USD4,000 to 5,000 (including 5% VAT for the 3.6 square meter system). The cost savings are moderate-the system can provide you with most of the hot water in summer and much less in cold weather.
Solar water heating system can save your electricity bill. Based on the results of our field trials on a series of homes and system scales, the cost savings of installing and correctly using the system is usually: replacing the gas heating system saves USD60 a year, and replacing the electric immersion heating system saves USD70 a year. Savings vary from user to user.
There are many factors to consider before installing a renewable system (such as a solar water heating system), but having a system will help reduce energy bills and household carbon footprints.
Our useful guide provides advice on what to consider when installing a renewable system, including what to look for when choosing an installer or product.