Posted on: 4 May 2021Share
If you're interested in solar power, but you're not ready to switch to solar completely, a good place to start is with your water heater. You can use solar energy to heat the hot water for your home or swimming pool. This makes the energy used for heating the water free. However, you still have to invest in the equipment upfront. Here are some methods for solar water heating to consider.
Install A Passive System
There are two basic options in solar water heating methods to consider. One is passive and the other is active. A passive solar water heating system doesn't use pumps and motors to circulate water. Instead, it relies on convection created when hot water rises and colder water falls. This method requires holding tanks to be installed on the roof. The water might be heated by the sun shining on the tank or with the help of small solar collectors.
You may need a roof inspection to make sure your roof can hold the weight of the water tank. You might also need a backup water heater for this type of system since the water won't heat up if the sun isn't shining on it or the collector plate.
This type of solar heating system works well if you need most of your hot water later in the day or evening, rather than for early morning showers before the water has heated up. This system also works best in areas where freezing temperatures are not common.
Choose An Active Solar Water Heating System
An active heating system can be direct or indirect. An indirect system works best in cold climates, and it's also a good choice if you want it to heat water for your swimming pool in addition to heating hot water for your home. This system heats up a transfer fluid that heats the water indirectly. It also relies on a pump to circulate the water.
A direct solar water heating system uses a pump to circulate water from the collector to the faucet where you want hot water. The system heats up water directly and doesn't use a heat transfer fluid.
Use Panels To Power A Tankless Heater
Another option to consider is to have a panel mounted on your roof to make power for a tankless water heater. It's not a bad idea to have a backup heating method for a solar water heater in case your area has several days of rain. If you'll install a new tankless heater for backup, you might skip the solar heater completely and just use a solar panel to power an electric tankless heater all the time.