How Solar Energy Can be Used to Heat the Water in Your Home


Electrical work

Solar installation is a great way to cut down on energy costs and make the world a greener place, but did you know that certain solar services can also heat the water in your home?

Harnessing the power of the sun to heat your water is both practical and cost-effective. You won’t even experience a dip in hot water temperatures. Most solar-powered thermal systems can heat water to the same range of temperatures as traditional hot water tanks.

To understand how solar installation can be used to heat water, you need to understand the two different types of systems available:

Direct Solar Water Heating

Direct systems use collectors to capture heat from the sun and transfer it directly to the water supply of your home. Collector pipes filled with water are heated by the sun, then the water flows down into the insulated storage tank inside your home. Direct systems are often the best solar installation option in terms of efficiency, but they need to be maintained so that mineral deposits don’t form in the pipes and clog the flow of water. Direct systems are also more vulnerable to freezing during cold temperatures.

Indirect Solar Water Heating

In indirect systems, water is heated not by the sun but by a fluid with a low freezing point. The fluid absorbs energy from the sun’s rays through an array of heat pipes made partly of thin copper laminate that can be tilted to follow the path of the sun throughout the day. As the copper gets hot, it heats the cooling material that runs through adjacent pipes (usually glycol) which carries the heat through a heat exchange coil. The coil transfers the heat into the water tank to produce hot water. Indirect systems don’t create heat as quickly, but they work better in cooler climates since the fluid in the pipes is usually one of the main ingredients in antifreeze.

Talk to solar installers in your area to decide which system is the best fit for you!
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