Solar Water Heaters for Your Home

Using solar water heaters to produce warm water for your family is a great way to go green without sacrificing comfort. You get all the hot water you've come to expect in this day and age, but generate that water with clean, solar energy.

But, where do you start? Do you need a certain amount of sunlight every day for a solar water heater? Do you have to install PV panels? Does installing one require special skills or tools?

Don't worry, we're here to help.

Types of Solar Water Heaters in Modern Homes

Active & Passive

The first thing you need to know is that there are two main types of solar water heaters: active and passive systems. Active systems use circulating pumps and controls. Passive systems do not. So, that's pretty straightforward. Within those two main types, there are four variant systems.

Direct Circulation Systems

A direct circulation system is an active system that uses a pump to move water through the collectors, then into the home. If the temperature rarely drops below freezing, this system could work well for you.

Indirect Circulation System

Another active system, indirect circulation requires a pump to move a refrigerant through the collectors and a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger warms the water for household use. This is a simple heat-transfer system that would work for homes in areas that routinely experience freezing temperatures.

Integral Collector-Storage Systems

This is a passive system for regions where the temperature rarely drops below freezing. It consists of a storage tank, solar collection tank, and the pipes running between them. It's a good choice for households with substantial hot water needs.

Thermosyphon Systems

A passive system with a weird name, a thermosyphon works by basic thermodynamic principles. As cold water sinks to the bottom of the storage tank, warm water rises and flows through the system. It's very reliable, but must be installed correctly for effective function.

Do you have a solar water heater? Are you interested in the technology? Let us know in the comments!

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