Solar Water Heaters: Types Of Systems And Collectors

Installing a solar water heater for your home is a way to save some money long term, while at the same time becoming more energy independent and helping the environment. A solar water heater uses the suns energy to warm water, so you need to use less electricity to get hot water. A solar water heater can supply 50-90% of your water heating needs, cutting your annual energy costs by 10-20%.

For more information on the costs of installing solar panels, click here.


Solar water heaters generally run on one of two systems: active and passive.

Active systems use pumps to move the water through the system, and as such require extra power to run them. They’re also more expensive. On the plus side though, they’re generally more efficient, and allow for greater design flexibility.

Passive systems don’t use pumps, but instead use natural convection currents to move the water. The solar collector is found at the lowest point of the current. Water is heated, and naturally moves upward, towards the water tanks. It enters the water rank, pushing the cold water at the bottom of the tank down and towards the solar collector, where the process begins again.


Solar collectors generally come in 3 forms: batch collectors, flat plate collectors and evacuated tube collectors.

Batch collectors are the cheapest and least efficient form of collector. The water tank essentially doubles as the collector, found outside and warming the water as it waits to be used. It’s usually found within an insulated box to maximize heat absorption.

Flat plate collectors are a series of copper tubes found within a box with a transparent top and dark bottom (to absorb solar energy and keep it in). Water moves through the tubes and is heated.

Evacuated tubes are the Cadillac of solar collectors- the most expensive, but by far the highest quality. They maximize the surface area receiving sunlight, making them the most efficient at heating water. They’re essentially a series of tubes within tubes, the outer layer for energy absorption and the inner layer for carrying the water to be heated.

Good luck and stay prepared!

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12 Tube Split Solar Water Heater Collector

Concentrating Photovoltaic Solar Panel Technology

There are 3 basic types of construction of PV panels. All of those explained here use silicon.

Mono Crystalline cells are cut from a single crystal of silicon- they are effectively a slice from a crystal. In appearance, it will have a smooth texture and you will be able to see the thickness of the slice. These are the most efficient and the most expensive to produce.

Polycrystalline (or Multi Crystalline) cells are effectively a slice cut from a block of silicon, consisting of a large number of crystals. They have a speckled reflective appearance and again you can see the thickness of the slice.

Amorphous cells are manufactured by placing a thin film of amorphous (non crystalline) silicon onto a wide choice of surfaces. These are the least photovoltaic efficiency and least expensive to produce of the three types. Due to the amorphous nature of the thin layer, it is flexible, and if manufactured on a flexible surface, the whole solar panel can be flexible.

Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit

Based on the main idea that a solar cell receiving more light energy will generate more electricity, concentrating photovoltaic solar panels simply involve a method (usually using a lens or mirrors) to concentrate more sunlight onto a photovoltaic cell. As fewer cells are then required for the same area of panel (or light capturing area) it may then become economical to use a highly efficient multi junction cell.

Potentially, this type of panel has the following advantages:

– It has a higher overall efficiency, capturing more solar energy per meter squared resulting in a smaller area of panels required for a particular output. Resulting efficiency levels can approach 50%.

– Potentially lower cost per watt of output due to lower number of solar cells required, while the material cost and manufacturing process of the optics (light concentration mechanism) is relatively inexpensive.

– Lower use of environmentally unfriendly chemicals involved in the panel manufacturing process due to lower number of pv cells.

– Where the concentration is such that cooling of the photovoltaic module is required, a panel may have the ability to output heat at the same time as electricity.

However, there are drawbacks:

– In all but the lower levels of concentration, heat needs to be dissipated from the cells. Cooling is necessary as cell efficiency is significantly reduced at higher temperatures, or in extreme situations, cells may be damaged.

– In all but the lower levels of concentration a tracker system will be required to keep the concentrated light focused on the cells.

– As diffuse light cannot be effectively concentrated, concentrating PV panels are best suited to areas with a high level of clear sunshine.

Although research has continued on concentrating photovoltaic efficiency for many years, they have not made their mark on the industry, and where they have been used, it has been in large scale projects. CPV panels that have been produced have come in “various shapes and sizes” with no obvious design leading the field.

Enumerating The Myths About The Green Way Of Living

Because green living is a relatively new concept, there are numerous myths floating around about what exactly it involves. Green living is so much more than just owning a fuel efficient car or buying organic food. Now’s the time to set the record straight regarding green living myths. One misbelief that you often hear is that we can decrease global warming by planting more trees. This information is not true when you’re considering cold climate areas. The earth actually grows warmer when you plant more trees in the more northern parts of the earth. To make planting trees advantageous to our planet, then you need to plant them in urbanized places. This will do a lot of good since the trees clean the air of automobile exhaust.

One more myth says the we can improve our planet by replacing all plastic bags with paper bags. In all actuality, neither alternative is good when considering CO2 emissions. When producing and eliminating these bags, carbon emissions are created by both types. While paper bags are not the best, they are a better pick than plastic bags. A much better alternative is the recyclable bag that can be used again and again. Cloth bags are the best of the recyclable bags.

Yet another prevalent myth is that it is better to drive a car to your destination rather than to get on a plane. The only time that it is truly better to drive your car is when you have a very fuel-efficient vehicle. The best thing you can do is to drive less often and share rides with other people as often as possible. Searching for ways to bring down the number of miles all of the earth’s citizens drive globally is a great way to help the planet. In addition, you may have also heard the myth that you should find local sources when purchasing food. When buying food, it is crucial to find out how it is grown than where. A food should be organically grown to be considered really green. Foods that are locally produced are not necessarily farmed with the use of organic processes. Hence, whether the food is bought from the market or home grown, what determines the value is the method used to grow it.

Last, there is the myth that electric-powered cars are eco-friendly. This is certainly not true when the electricity originates from coal-powered electric plants. Electric-power cars will be great for the planet when the electricity is generated by renewable energy sources. 12v solar panels that generate small amount of electricity are examples of these sources. Using less electricity is also a good practice since we all know that some of our plants use coal. Solar panel private home systems can be key to lessening our dependency to electricity from power plants. Virtually all of the myths that surround green living are just myths because they don’t take the entire story into consideration.

Green living is a valuable way to contribute to the environment. When you do it in the proper way, you’re experiencing the most benefit. There is no reason you should do things that you suppose will work for helping the environment, when they really don’t.

Why Homeowners Love Solar Energy

It wasn’t always easy to install solar energy at home. Until two decades ago, companies that specialized in residential solar panels were essentially non-existent. Homeowners had to buy much more expensive unit designed for commercial properties. Now that there are dozens of home solar energy companies to choose from, new adopters are experiencing the benefits previously reserved for business customers.

Economic Benefits

The solar energy benefits that drive most sales are economic. A typical 200 watt solar panel can be purchased for well under $800. With several of these panels run together in series, an inverter to change the panels’ DC output into the house’s AC wiring, a 24 volt batteries to store addition power for evening and low-light conditions, and installation costs, owners can expect a full system to run cost between $5000 and $8000. Regions with an abundance of sunlight, like California, tend to yield a full return on investment within 10 years—even excluding incentives from the government.

Those incentives, however, are some of the best reasons for installing solar panels. In 2005, the Economic Policy Act provided up to a 30% tax credit for anyone who installed some type of renewable energy system in his or her household, whether it’s based on wind, geothermal or solar technology. Thanks to an extension from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, these tax credit remain in effect through 2016.

The Economic Policy Act also makes it mandatory for public utilities to offer net metering programs on customer request. If a homeowner with a grid-tie solar system generates surplus electricity, it can be routed back into the grid and sold to the utility for a credit, so that the customer is only charged for the net consumption of energy—the amount consumed less the amount produced.

Ecological Energy

Solar power is clean power. While domestic solar power companies are no different that commercial power plants when it comes to chemical emissions from the manufacturing process, each completed panel generates produces electricity with no byproducts for the rest of its lifetime, nor does it require additional consumption of nonrenewable resources. Solar power is the ideal way for homeowners to have complete control of their energy supply while dramatically reducing their carbon footprint.

Ecologically Sustainable Products

Generally speaking, people are eager to understand the steps that can help them live in a far more environmentally conscious manner. As shoppers we wield a substantial quantity of power. By acting inside a responsible and environmental conscious way, we can have a great good impact on the environment. When we all choose to buy eco-friendly items – on an individual level, our collective action directs a clear meaning to the producers about the items we want all of them to make. After all, it is possible to vote together with your money equally well as voting on the polls.

There has been many ecologically sustainable items that have hit the industry recently. This article illustrates some of the items we utilize the most often. These items not only enable you to dwell sustainably, they save a little money.

Split AC Units

When an A/C device has the evaporator located in the home and the noisy compressor on the outside of the house in a independent unit, the system is said to be a ‘split’ A/C system. In more mature window attached air conditioners both of these units are usually housed with each other. Mini split air conditioner are economical, cheaper to mend, as well as less loud with the noisier components located outside the residence. The evaporator is lightweight, meaning, it can be used in any room to enhance the air circulation. Additionally, these units don’t cycle external air and enable you higher control on the air quality inside your home.

Solar Panels

In modern times, photo voltaic energy has emerged to be a crucial element which might cater to the energy necessities of the worlds long term. An exciting bit of recent legislation means you are able to use net metering legal guidelines to profitably upload power from your very own solar panels in to the grid. Buying electrical energy from anyone who can produce it is a demand of these new laws. To profitably add to countrywide energy needs you can study solar panel reviews to help you to slap together the correct photo voltaic setup. Solar panels provide the twin benefit of helping the community as well as enabling power self-sufficiency.

Why Do People Install Solar Panels

Why do people love their solar panels and why do they install it in the first place? There are three main reasons for that. Do you consider a solar system for yourself? Read on to learn what benefits you are about to gain from your system and join thousands of other solar panel users.

Among the reasons to install solar panel system saving money is probably the most common one. How could expensive panels save you money? Well, initial investment is high, but it pays off in about 15 years or less and after that it’s pure savings. Considering that solar panels last 25-30 years, average system could easily save you $10,000 — $15,000 in a 30 year period. As you can see solar energy indeed could be profitable.

The next popular reason is independence. We use electricity for so many different things on our houses. Cooking, warming (even gas furnaces do use electricity), showering, refrigeration — all these comforts of modern society are not available if you don’t have electricity. Blackouts can and do happen and solar panel is a great way to protect yourself from loosing everything once public electric grid goes down. Independence is the main reason solar power for rv is such a hit.

The third most popular reason to get a solar system is a need to help our planet. Only shortsighted people don’t realize that we reached a point where we are affecting the whole planet and it’s just nice of us to make sure future generations have something decent to live in. By installing solar panels you are reducing the carbon dioxide emissions which contribute to climate change. You are taking care of the planet for your kinds and grandkids to live. This is a nice and simple way you can make an impact today.