Solar Water Heating Systems can be cost effective

Solar Water Heating Systems offer many choices and variations of equipment suitable for all types of applications and instillations. The technology is very advanced and in addition to supplying 33% of hot water needs, a solar heating system can save in excess of £35 a year by reducing CO2 emissions.

Simply put, the sunlight hits the roof pane which is linked to pipes going down to a hot water storage apparatus. Providing the system is correctly installed it requires little maintenance and will add to the value of your house. Solar water heating systems are suitable for home use as well as larger electrical devices such as swimming pools.

The government is encouraging all home owners to adopt the environmentally friendly heating systems. A solar water heating system is made up of three basic components. Firstly, the solar panel, usually oblong in shape and, placed on the roof of the house absorbs heat from the sun’s rays.

There are two types of panels, one being flat with a transparent cover and absorber plate. The other is known as an evacuated tube type containing glass tubing, set in rows with absorber plates directing the heated fluid into a manifold.

The second component is the heat transfer system and this is a unit that gathers the heat to warm up  the water or fluid. The hot water cylinder makes up the third component and this is simply a hot water storage tank, similar to a kitchen tea flask.

A question frequently asked concerns the lack of sunlight over a period. The heating system continually checks the water temperature and should this drop below a certain point a stand  by system will engage and heat the water near the top of the tank. The system works well in winter and accounts for 50%  of water heating requirements annually.

The cost of installing a solar water heating can vary between  £3600 and £5000 for the evacuated tube type and between £2000 and £3500 for the flat panel version. Ideally the system should be placed on the roof facing a southerly direction. This will ensure optimum sunlight. There should also be enough space to accommodate the water cylinder.

Water heating from the sun was first made popular in Southern California and Florida in the early 1920’s. Israel, a land with plenty of sunshine, began using Solar energy in 1967 and the law there now requires all new homes to be fitted with a water heating system.