Solar energy is an affordable alternative energy source that can be used to help heat homes. However, you should be aware of some important considerations in the use of solar thermal systems in Canada.
In Canada, solar thermal systems are mainly used for domestic hot water, not for primary space heating. In Canada’s climate, other fuel sources may be more economical than solar thermal systems for primary space heating.
Solar water heating system for hot water and heat at home
Solar thermal systems convert sunlight into heat through solar collectors usually installed on the roof.
These collectors circulate a fluid, which is heated by the radiant energy of the sun. Then, the heated fluid can be pumped through the heat exchanger to heat the water to provide space heating for your house or even for the swimming pool.
Solar thermal costs, considerations in Canada
Solar thermal systems are complex systems that can be installed in various configurations according to the application, geographic location and site conditions.
For a small family, the average cost of installing a domestic solar water heating system is about $6,000. The price of vacuum tubes is 20% to 30% more expensive than flat plate collectors.
The solar hot water system can meet the hot water demand throughout the year. In summer, it can provide up to 100% of hot water demand, and in winter, it can provide up to 25% of hot water. The solar hot water system can be easily integrated with your existing domestic hot water system to provide you with hot water throughout the year.
The real savings achieved by installing a solar hot water system depends on the type of system installed, where it is installed, and the existing hot water system in your home. For example, solar water heating systems are most efficient when used to heat swimming pools. Professional contractors can help you design and install the best solar water heating system for your home.
Canada also has great potential in the use of solar energy and has excellent solar energy resources. Since 2007, Canada has an estimated 544,000 square meters of solar collectors in operation. They are mainly heat pipe solar collectors used for swimming pool heating and domestic hot water.