Calls for energy efficiency and environmental conservation have meant a leaning towards renewable energy, especially solar power. This is more so for residential power consumers where bills can be crippling. Considering that hot water is one of the highest consumers of power at home, relegating this system to solar does have a significant impact on the bill. The following highlights how this system works.
- Batch collectors are one of the simplest collector designs. It consists of a tank or coils, preferably painted dark, on a stand holding water, until drawn. The resulting water temperature depends on the duration of the sun, amount, and the time it remains in the system before being drawn. An anti-scalding valve should be installed to regulate the water temperature at the point of use in case it is too hot.
- Flat plate collector: looks like the regular solar panel. Consists of a series of coiled copper tubes on the flat plate. The plate, usually painted black, absorbs the solar energy and converts in into heat. It then conducts the heat to the coils which contain the water. At either end of the coil, there are the inlet and outlet manifolds for the water.
- Evacuated tubes: the most common of the solar collectors. Consists of a series of glass or metal tubes over the tube holding the water. There is a vacuum between the two to prevent loss of heat. The evacuation makes it the most efficient solar collector between the available choices.
Mode of Collection
The direct method consists of the regular water supply through the collectors, then on to the point of use or storage system. This method is typically used in the tropics as there is no need for freeze protection.it is also referred to as the passive system as water moves naturally by convection within the system. In most cases, a pump is used to pump the water to the collector and on to the storage tanks. This is known as the active or forced circulation system. The indirect method consists of a different setup. Instead of water, the coils hold a heating fluid, mostly antifreeze liquid, on the collector coils. The coils then lead to a water tank and act as a heat exchanger, transferring the stored heat to the cold water.
Benefits of Solar Water Heating
- Low maintenance requirements: when correctly installed, solar water heaters require minimal maintenance. All that is required is regular wiping to remove any particle ingress, checks for leaks and cracks and the state of the pump. The maintenance requirements are quite low compared to other maintenance-intensive systems such as the oil-fuelled water heater.
- Cost savings: allocating solar energy for the highest power consumer in the house results to a significant cut in your power bill. The savings are better calculated after a set period, say a month or year.
- Conservation: non-renewable resources take a toll on the environment, from the sourcing of elements such as petroleum and coal to the by-products of combustion on the atmosphere. Solar is free, and depending on where you live, readily available.
From the available sources of fuel, it has the lowest carbon footprint and zero emissions.
Solar energy is free, easily accessible and environmentally friendly. The use of solar for heating water provides an almost endless supply of hot water, of course depending on the system type and size. For the best results, consult an experienced supplier, and installer of the systems. With that in place, you are in for more than adequate supply of hot water to your Shower Head Filter.