Solar Energy Plumbing Solutions

Posted By The Eco Plumbers

29 Jan. 2014

Here at Eco Plumbers, we are consistently working to bring you and your family more environmentally friendly solutions for your home plumbing system. Solar energy plumbing solutions are one way to ensure that your plumbing system is not only good for the environment, but also good for your wallet. With a solar water heating system, you can heat water more efficiently using energy from the sun. Read on to learn more about the variety of options available for solar water heating systems as well as why solar energy is the right choice for you.

Solar Water Heating Collector Types

Solar water heaters are divided into two parts - the circulation system and the collector. When choosing your solar water heater, you have three collector options available:

Flat-Plate Collector: A flat plate collector consists of a box that is both weatherproofed and insulated. The box contains copper tubes and an absorber plate. This type of collector can generally hold about 40 gallons of water.

Integrated Collector-Storage: Also referred to as a batch collector, the integrated collector-storage system consists of an insulated box that contains multiple black tanks or tubes. First, water is heated in the solar collector, and second, the water moves into the conventional water heater, which is used for backup. This type of collector is generally not suited to very cold climates.

Evacuated-Tube Collector: The evacuated-tube collector is the most efficient type available, and it is typically used in commercial applications. This collector contains transparent glass tubes that act similarly to a thermos, trapping in heat.

Solar Water Heating Circulation Systems

When it comes to the circulation system for your solar water heater, you have a choice between an active or a passive system. While active systems use circulating controls and pumps, passive systems do not. Active systems can be either direct or indirect; direct systems are best suited to climates in which freezing is rare, while indirect systems work well in areas prone to freezing.

Passive systems come in two types: integrated collector-storage and thermosyphon. Integrated collector-storage systems are best for warmer climates and for households in which hot water is most necessary in the daytime and evening. Thermosyphon systems involve warm water rising and cooler water sinking as it passes through. They tend to be more expensive and have very heavy storage tanks, but they are also very reliable.

Why Solar Energy?

Although many solar water heaters are initially more expensive to install than conventional water heaters, they offer major savings over time. With solar energy, the average household can cut its energy costs for water heating by 50%-80%. You can use the tools available on energy.gov to determine how much you will save by installing a solar water heater. Because solar energy is free, you will also remain safe from rising fuel costs as well as fuel shortages. Furthermore, those who install a solar energy system are eligible for a federal income tax deduction, allowing additional savings.

Contact The Eco Plumbers today to learn more about installing a solar water heater in your home.

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