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Solar hot water

posted 14 Feb 2010, 00:23 by Toby Roscoe   [ updated 14 Feb 2010, 00:31 ]

One of the simplest and most cost-efficient ways of using the Sun’s energy is to fit a high-efficiency evacuated tube solar water heater to your existing hot water system. It concentrates the Sun’s energy to preheat water before it is finally heated to the desired temperature by your boiler. The energy saving is considerable and in summer the solar water heater may provide all of your hot water needs. A solar hot water heating system should be designed by an energy efficiency expert and then installed by a licensed plumber, however, DIY options are available.

Solar water heating or solar hot water is water heated by the use of solar energy. Solar heating systems are generally composed of solar thermalcollectors, a water storage tank or another point of usage, interconnecting pipes and a fluid system to move the heat from the collector to the tank. This thermodynamic approach is distinct from semiconductor photovoltaic (PV) cells that generate electricity from light; solar water heating deals with the direct heating of liquids by the sun where no electricity is directly generated. A solar water heating system may use electricity for pumping the fluid, and have a reservoir or tank for heat storage and subsequent use. The water can be heated for a wide variety of uses, including home, business and industrial uses. Heating swimming pools, underfloor heating or energy input for space heating or cooling are common examples of solar water heating. A solar water heating system can form part of a solar thermal cooling system, promoting efficient temperature control of buildings or parts thereof. During cool conditions, the same system can provide hot water.