Most of us might take the hot water from the tap for granted. However, if you don't think about it, if your hot water system fails, you will miss the opportunity to provide hot water on demand. In households with electric water heating systems, we paid a considerable price for this privilege: our hot water heating accounts for approximately 25% of total energy consumption. So, what if you could use solar energy to generate your own hot water energy and cut your electricity bill by a quarter? Investing in solar water heating is one way you can do it.
What is solar water heating
Currently, about 13% of US's hot water systems are solar water heaters. Solar hot water uses the free and abundant energy of the sun to heat your residential water. Two common types of systems are solar PV and solar thermal systems. Both use the energy of the sun to heat hot water, and both have roof panels.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems convert solar energy into electricity, which is then used to power hot water systems to heat water. A big advantage of a solar photovoltaic system is that it uses this electricity to power your house, not just a hot water system. You might generate all your hot water electricity needs through a solar panel system.
On the other hand, solar water heating systems use sunlight to directly heat water. The solar panels have built-in copper tubes to collect water and use sunlight to heat it before returning it to the storage tank.
Solar thermal energy is more space efficient than solar PV, and it is very efficient, capable of converting up to 90% of radiation into heat, compared with only 15% or 20% of solar photovoltaic systems. Although solar thermal energy is the cheaper option of the two, you can't use it to power anything else in the house.
Solar water heating VS Gas VS Electricity
Gas, electricity and solar energy are the main options for hot water system. Solar water heaters are the most effective choice, superior to gas or electric water heaters in terms of energy efficiency and operating costs.
Solar energy-Although solar water heating systems are usually the most expensive system to purchase and install, they can save you money in the long run. If you use electric hot water systems now, solar water heaters can save you up to 50% to 80% of your hot water costs on average.
Gas-gas hot water systems may be energy efficient and cost effective depending on the model. Depending on the number of people in your household, the annual operating cost of a gas system may be between US$215 and US$497. The cost of the gas system is approximately US$900 to US$2,000, plus installation costs.
Electric-hot water systems are the cheapest and most expensive to run. The cost of the electrical system is approximately US$300 to US$1,500, not including installation costs. If you are currently using an electric hot water system, switching to solar energy can save you up to $400 to $700 in electricity bills per year.
Ultimately, how much money you will save with solar and natural gas depends on the type of system you are currently using. It also depends on the amount of hot water you use and the specifications of the new system. Factors such as the location and orientation of the house and the amount of sunlight will also affect your savings
Ultimately, how much money you will save with solar and natural gas depends on the type of system you are currently using. It also depends on the amount of hot water you use and the specifications of the new system. Factors such as the location and orientation of the house and the amount of sunlight will also affect your savings.