Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Efficiently Heating Water Using Solar Power

By Kobi Haretz

Due to frustration with utility companies more and more people are looking for way to make a switch to efficient and affordable homemade energy. One of the first steps in significantly lowering your costs is making the transition to a solar powered water heater.This is done by installing solar photovoltaic panels.This is much more efficient today because of affordable home solar panel kits.The use of solar power now allows you to heat your water efficiently and affordably.

Many people don't realize the number of options they have when making the switch to homemade energy. Solar panel kits can be built in your own back yard and used to heat your water.Before the water enters your home it passes through a series of pipes heated by the solar collector. You will also need a storage tank to help keep the water warm before it is used in your home.

The most common collector is a flat plate collector. It is designed to be a thin, flat rectangular box that has a transparent cover and it can carry fluid to be heated. The fluid can be water or it may be a solution, such as antifreeze that will prevent the water from freezing. Next the water moves through the tubes to an absorber plate. This plate is painted black to attract and absorb the heat from the sun. When the collector gets hot, it will heat the fluid that passes through the tubes. The water will then pass through the tubes and then to the storage tank. This tank holds the heated water. It is usually well insulated so the water will stay warm longer. Then the water flows into the home on demand.

Here is brief comparison of two solar hot water systems:

1. The most common water heating system is referred to as active. It relies on some type of mechanical devices such as a pump, moving water from the flat plate collector to the storage tank. The active water heating system is more efficient and quicker making it the most common.

2. A passive water heating system relies on gravity feeding the water from the flat plate collector to the storage tank. It may be slow and not able to keep up the demands of hot water. It is important to also note that your flat plate collector and your storage tank need to be angled right for the gravity to feed the liquid through.

Using solar power to heat water is very efficient and can be installed with little effort. It is a smart choice to use solar power to heat your water and is one of the first steps to going green. It is much easier to use solar power to do lots of things than ever before, including using it to heat our water.

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