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The Basics of Solar Water Heating

plumber newtown - solar panel collector

In case you have left your garden hose out in summer sun, you turned it on then found out hot water flowing from it, you most probably experience the basic function of a solar water heater.  The sun’s heating power can actually be converted into a homemade solar water heater.  

Solar Panel Collector

The most common homemade type of solar water heater is the flat panel since it is inexpensive and simple to create. The size of the panel collector frame serves as an indication on the amount of water that can be heated at once and its temperature when used. The hotter the water can be as the frame becomes larger and the longer the water travels via the collector. The collectors try to capture and retain the heat coming from the sun and transfer it to a liquid. Thermal heat is then trapped through the greenhouse effect before it is transported to storage.

The efficiency of the collectors is associated with heat loss, specifically from radiation and convection. Heat loss is being slowed down from the hot object to the environment using thermal insulation. Heat loss becomes more rapid when the hot object-environment difference is larger, specifically between the collector surface’s temperature and the ambient temperature.

All you need to do in here is to place water-filled tank into the sun and the solar heat would heat the water and metal tank inside. The water then slowly flows through metal piping, collecting the heat that is being generated.

Components of Solar Heating System

* Solar Heating Collectors – used in taking heat from the sun and transferred to a liquid

* Heat Transfer Fluid – used in transferring the heat for storage or use

* Pumps – used in transferring heat to domestic water

* Controllers – used in running pumps when collector heat is already available.

Types of Solar Thermal Collectors

* Flat Plate Collector – This solar thermal collector comprises flat surface area, which maximizes sun exposure alongside small tubes where the fluid runs through to collect heat from the absorber.

* Evacuated Tube – This collector is composed of a long and skinny absorber found inside its glass tube. The air evacuated out of the tube makes the water highly insulated, which is not far different from your daily used thermos for hot beverage.

* Parabolic Tray or Dish – This collector increases the heat potential through the concentration of sunlight onto an absorber. It is more common in utility-scale heating systems to help create steam that runs turbines for electricity generation.

Tips for Solar Water Heating System Design

Your water heating system will be more efficient when you use metal for your water piping and frame backing since metal collects and disseminate heat easily. The use of plywood for collector backing works efficiently and is considered as a notable variation in terms of material and price availability.

Most of the time, non-metal materials are used for water piping, while garden hose or plastic are used for the internal coil. You will definitely get best results from the water heater when you paint them before they are assembled.

Remember the fundamentals of your solar heating system so you will have efficient hot water system at home.