Solar Water Heaters

Energy conservation and alternate sources of energy have become burning issues at the forefront of the world’s attention. With the Middle Eastern energy crisis dragging on for decades in an interminable stalemate which seems to be broken only by periodic eruptions of war, the rest of the world is searching more determinedly than ever for new sources of energy which could break the stranglehold that the oil barons of the world have established for themselves.

Especially in Israel and other hot nations with hot climates, such as Indonesia, India, and others, a new form of water heating is increasingly gaining ground. Solar water heaters are exactly what their name implies. A solar water heating system is a unit which comprises a storage tank for water, as well a solar device which collects solar energy to heat the water in the accompanying storage tank. There are currently two basic types of solar water heaters. Active solar water heaters utilize specially designed pumps and controls to keep the water circulating once it has been heated. Passive solar water heaters do not incorporate any active controls in their mechanism, but instead allow the water, once heated, to remain stationary.

Most currently existing models of solar water heaters will require a well maintained and fully insulated storage tank. These solar storage tanks will typically incorporate an additional outlet and inlet, which are, in turn, connected to and from the water collection unit. In a typical double tank solar water heater, water is preheated before it enters the actual heating unit itself. This is accomplished by direct absorption of sunlight reflected onto it by the cells of the solar energy collection unit. In a single tank system, the function of the secondary water heater is combined with that of the solar energy collection unit into one multi-tasking tank unit.

The benefits which accrue from solar water heaters ought to be obvious to even the most jaded and casual reader of this article. For one thing, the energy savings alone is enormous, Since solar energy is the single source of energy which is presumably limitless, at least for the next few billion years until the sun goes nova, it follows that it is also the cheapest. It’s all but impossible to “waste” solar energy, since it is simply renewed with the sun rising the very next morning. So one can hardly experience a chronic shortage of solar power. Neither can the sun’s energy be bottled and sold – or rationed for political gain. Solar energy, once properly harnessed and made available to the masses, would short circuit the fondest dreams of many a dictator, politician, and oil baron.

There are currently two basic specimens of solar water heaters which use the active principle, as discussed above. The first, and best known, of these two is the direct circulation system. This type of solar water heater uses a pump which works to circulate water, as filtered through the solar collectors, and directly into your home. This type of solar water heater, because it relies directly on a circulation system which is typically exposed to the elements, will function best in southern or equatorial climates where temperatures rarely, if ever, reach the freezing point.

The second type of solar water heater which uses this active principle is the indirect circulation system. This type of solar water heater incorporates a basic design in which pumps work to circulate a specially formulated, freeze resistant, heat-transfer fluid through its collectors. This special heat-transfer fluid is then filtered through a heat exchanging mechanism, which superheats the collected water and pumps it into the home. This type of solar water heater is chiefly found in climates where winter temperatures routinely fall below the freezing point.

Likewise, there are two main types of passive solar water heaters which are currently available on the modern international market place. These passive systems are markedly less expensive than the typical start up and running cost of a comparable, directly active, solar water heating system. However, the trade off is that the passive systems are normally less efficient in gathering solar energy and heating one’s home than their direct action counterparts. In their favor, however, is the frequent discovery, by those who have owned both types of systems, that passive solar water heating systems tend to be longer lasting and more reliable overall. As with direct systems, there are two basic types.

Integral collector systems will work best in regions where temperatures rarely reach the point of falling below freezing. Integral collectors will work best in households which have a significant need for hot water in the day time and evening. Mornings are more or less ruled out for hot water, as the solar collection time of an integral collector system is quite long.

Thermosyphon systems are passive solar water heaters in which water flows through the system, rising to the surface as a layer of cooler water sinks to the bottom of the storage tank. In order to function correctly, the collection unit will need to be installed below the water storage tank. This will insure that warmer water will rise to the surface, and overflow into the tank. Thermosyphon systems are generally reliable and long serving. However, they are normally much more expensive than integral collector units, because of their more complex design. Thermosyphon systems tend to work best in regions where winter temperatures are prone to reach the point of freezing.

Regardless of which type of solar water heater one chooses to utilize in one’s home, the essential point is that such devices are viable, rapidly evolving, alternatives to the outdated, ridiculously expensive, and wasteful, sources of energy which the Western world is currently glutting itself to death with. It is, indeed, very significant that solar water heaters are receiving their most significant exposure and development in countries such as India and Vietnam, which are well outside the sphere of traditional Western culture. It remains to be seen whether solar energy is truly to be the ultimate solution. However, solar water heaters are an excellent indicator of the many innovations which may yet promise mankind a safer, more ecologically friendly, existence. Energy conservation and alternate sources of energy have become burning issues at the forefront of the world’s attention. With the Middle Eastern energy crisis dragging on for decades in an interminable stalemate which seems to be broken only by periodic eruptions of war, the rest of the world is searching more determinedly than ever for new sources of energy which could break the stranglehold that the oil barons of the world have established for themselves.

Especially in Israel and other hot nations with hot climates, such as Indonesia, India, and others, a new form of water heating is increasingly gaining ground. Solar water heaters are exactly what their name implies. A solar water heating system is a unit which comprises a storage tank for water, as well a solar device which collects solar energy to heat the water in the accompanying storage tank. There are currently two basic types of solar water heaters. Active solar water heaters utilize specially designed pumps and controls to keep the water circulating once it has been heated. Passive solar water heaters do not incorporate any active controls in their mechanism, but instead allow the water, once heated, to remain stationary.

Most currently existing models of solar water heaters will require a well maintained and fully insulated storage tank. These solar storage tanks will typically incorporate an additional outlet and inlet, which are, in turn, connected to and from the water collection unit. In a typical double tank solar water heater, water is preheated before it enters the actual heating unit itself. This is accomplished by direct absorption of sunlight reflected onto it by the cells of the solar energy collection unit. In a single tank system, the function of the secondary water heater is combined with that of the solar energy collection unit into one multi-tasking tank unit.

The benefits which accrue from solar water heaters ought to be obvious to even the most jaded and casual reader of this article. For one thing, the energy savings alone is enormous, Since solar energy is the single source of energy which is presumably limitless, at least for the next few billion years until the sun goes nova, it follows that it is also the cheapest. It’s all but impossible to “waste” solar energy, since it is simply renewed with the sun rising the very next morning. So one can hardly experience a chronic shortage of solar power. Neither can the sun’s energy be bottled and sold – or rationed for political gain. Solar energy, once properly harnessed and made available to the masses, would short circuit the fondest dreams of many a dictator, politician, and oil baron.

There are currently two basic specimens of solar water heaters which use the active principle, as discussed above. The first, and best known, of these two is the direct circulation system. This type of solar water heater uses a pump which works to circulate water, as filtered through the solar collectors, and directly into your home. This type of solar water heater, because it relies directly on a circulation system which is typically exposed to the elements, will function best in southern or equatorial climates where temperatures rarely, if ever, reach the freezing point.

The second type of solar water heater which uses this active principle is the indirect circulation system. This type of solar water heater incorporates a basic design in which pumps work to circulate a specially formulated, freeze resistant, heat-transfer fluid through its collectors. This special heat-transfer fluid is then filtered through a heat exchanging mechanism, which superheats the collected water and pumps it into the home. This type of solar water heater is chiefly found in climates where winter temperatures routinely fall below the freezing point.

Likewise, there are two main types of passive solar water heaters which are currently available on the modern international market place. These passive systems are markedly less expensive than the typical start up and running cost of a comparable, directly active, solar water heating system. However, the trade off is that the passive systems are normally less efficient in gathering solar energy and heating one’s home than their direct action counterparts. In their favor, however, is the frequent discovery, by those who have owned both types of systems, that passive solar water heating systems tend to be longer lasting and more reliable overall. As with direct systems, there are two basic types.

Integral collector systems will work best in regions where temperatures rarely reach the point of falling below freezing. Integral collectors will work best in households which have a significant need for hot water in the day time and evening. Mornings are more or less ruled out for hot water, as the solar collection time of an integral collector system is quite long.

Thermosyphon systems are passive solar water heaters in which water flows through the system, rising to the surface as a layer of cooler water sinks to the bottom of the storage tank. In order to function correctly, the collection unit will need to be installed below the water storage tank. This will insure that warmer water will rise to the surface, and overflow into the tank. Thermosyphon systems are generally reliable and long serving. However, they are normally much more expensive than integral collector units, because of their more complex design. Thermosyphon systems tend to work best in regions where winter temperatures are prone to reach the point of freezing.

Regardless of which type of solar water heater one chooses to utilize in one’s home, the essential point is that such devices are viable, rapidly evolving, alternatives to the outdated, ridiculously expensive, and wasteful, sources of energy which the Western world is currently glutting itself to death with. It is, indeed, very significant that solar water heaters are receiving their most significant exposure and development in countries such as India and Vietnam, which are well outside the sphere of traditional Western culture. It remains to be seen whether solar energy is truly to be the ultimate solution. However, solar water heaters are an excellent indicator of the many innovations which may yet promise mankind a safer, more ecologically friendly, existence.

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