What is solar hot water?
Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that collect light from the sun and convert it into electricity, solar hot water systems collect the heat of the sun and transfer it to water. Millions of homes and businesses around the globe use solar water heating systems because they are one of the most cost effective renewable energy sources available.
How much money can I save using solar hot water?
Switching to solar hot water can decrease your water heating bill by 50%-80%! Since water heating can account for a quarter of your total energy bill every month, using solar hot water can provide substantial savings.
Does solar hot water work when it’s cloudy or cold?
Although the heat output of the solar collector is reduced on cold, overcast days, it will still be able to provide considerable heating. Evacuated Tube Collectors are suitable for such conditions as their round shape enables them to absorb the sun’s heat at many angles increasing their performance.
Will a solar hot water system supply all of my hot water?
Solar hot water systems typically supply up to 80% of hot water needs. During summer months, the system may provide all hot water needs. When there is less solar energy available in the winter or on cloudy days, a backup system fueled by gas, electric or solar photovoltaic panels can be used to supplement the hot water supply.
Do I need to change my hot water routine when using a solar hot water system?
With solar hot water and a backup water heater, you will actually have much more hot water than ever before. You can increase your savings by not relying on the backup system with some simple hot water saving tips: space out laundry loads during sunlight hours to allow the solar water heater to replenish its supply, install low flow faucets and shower heads to reduce the amount of water used, and fix leaky faucets to preserve water.
How much money can I expect to save with incentives?
DSIREusa.org can give you up-to-date information on incentives and policies that support the use of renewable energy. Federal tax credits and state incentives will significantly reduce the cost of your solar hot water system.
How do I pick the right solar hot water system for my needs?
Solar hot water systems come in a variety of configurations. Your renewable energy contractor will evaluate which type of solar collector, circulation system and tank you need based on your location and the average hot water usage for your household.
Where should solar hot water collectors be located?
To benefit from solar energy, collectors should be placed in an area with unobstructed sunlight throughout the year, usually on a roof that faces south, southeast, or southwest.
How long does a solar hot water system last?
Many solar hot water systems can last 20 years or more. Most come with a five to ten year warranty and require little maintenance.
How hot is the water from a solar hot water system?
Solar water heaters can heat water well past the typical 120 degrees used by average households, especially during the summer. Systems have tempering valves to keep water leaving the tank at a safe temperature. During winter or cloudy days, your conventional hot water system will ensure your water remains hot.