Solar Water Heating

A solar heating system is used for heating water using the heat from the sun. It usually consists of a collector, which is often mounted on the roof, and a fluid system to enable the heat to be taken to the point where it is used, a hot water boiler for example. Sometimes electric pumps are used to move the fluid from the collector to the boiler.

The systems can be used for a variety of purposes like heating water for homes, businesses, underfloor heating, and swimming pools

In some climates, solar heating can generate up to 85% of domestic hot water needs.

In domestic situations, solar water heating can be subdivided into to types, compact and pumped.

The compact system works by means of natural convection, which means when water gets hot it rises and when cold falls.

The pumped system on the other hand uses a pump to move the water around.

Both systems include an auxiliary eating source such as an electrical heating element or a connection to a gas powered central heating system. This is a back up in the event of the temperature falling below a preset level. When this happens the auxiliary system comes into operation. This means hot water is always available in even at the coldest times of year.

With modern systems, tests have shown that even in the more northerly areas, it can be possible to have water heated from Solar Energy alone, all the year round.

The costs of solar systems are falling. A few years ago the average cost was $7000.00, But nowadays a more realistic estimate would be $3000.00 for the average system with a pay back of around 14 years.