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SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEMS

...using the Sun to heat your water for free

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Articles

 

From time to time, we will publish useful articles relating to Solar Hot Water Systems here so please feel free to have a browse. Why not grab a cup of coffee and sit back and have a read and see how you can save money with this environmentally friendly technology.

If you have any questions about Solar Hot Water Systems we are always pleased to answer them for you.

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Example of hot water usage

We are a family of four with two late teenage children. Over the last three years we have used 180 ltrs of hot water every day. The guides suggest that we would normally be using 138 litres per day. This means we use 30% more hot water than average.

We also maintain the hot water tank at 60 degrees centigrade. We have two showers, one pressured from the roof tank and one mains fed which uses the hot tank as a thermal store. If the temperature of the tank drops much below 60, we get a proportionally more lukewarm shower! Work/lifestyle also means that two of us often have two showers per day.

This shows how the number of people living in a house and their lifestyle affects hot water needs. It is very important that the hot water consumption is estimated correctly before designing the solar system. I will be adding more tubes to my roof panel soon to heat a larger proportion of the hot water we use.

The feed to the second shower will also be changed from the thermal store type to conventional tank feed. The temperature of the hot water can then be reduced, saving a bit more energy.

Author: Ken Askew

 


 

Free Hot water for life

Solar hot water systems use sunlight to heat some of the hot water used in your home. Once the system has been installed you do not pay for any of the heat collected from the sun.

All the components used should last for many years with only minimal maintenance. A panel is fitted on the roof to collect energy from the sun. The more efficient panels use evacuated glass tubes with internal heat pipes to absorb this energy.

The heat is then transferred to a manifold at the top of the panel which contains a small amount of water. The heated water is then pumped into the hot water tank to heat the cold water in the same way as your boiler works.

The amount of energy collected is dependent on the weather. Long sunny days will give much more than cloudy winter days, but the panels will collect some heat even on the shortest day of the year. Only heavy rain and thick cloud will stop them working in the daytime.

Author: Ken Askew

 


 

Solar heating for Swimming Pools

Solar panels can be used to heat swimming pools. They work very well because the pool will absorb all the heat generated.

More panels will be needed than for domestic hot water, but a swimming pool system can also be used to heat the hot water as well. Because more panels are needed to heat the pool, the system can be set to heat the hot water first, which it will do many times quicker. The system will then switch over to heating the pool for the rest of the day. In this way you will get a much larger proportion of your hot water heated free by the sun.

Swimming pool systems can be as large or small as you like, depending on your budget and how much space you have for the panels.

Author: Ken Askew

 

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