Going Green And Saving Money: Solar Hot Water Heating

Most households in Australia use gas and electricity to heat water. In Australia, gas and electricity are created mainly from fossil fuels which one day will completely run out. Creating energy this way also adds greatly to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A new way has to be found. This is especially when it comes to using a solar hot water heating unit.

Solar hot water systems use the natural heat from the sun to preheat water, using far less fossil fuels. Moreover, this type of energy from the sun is abundant and absolutely free. Once the solar water system is installed, there are no ongoing costs in terms of fuel consumption.

Solar hot water heating systems may be expensive to install initially but they pay for themselves over four to eight years. These systems last at least twice as long as conventional systems, up to thirty years. So with this in mind, you can enjoy free hot water for ten to twenty years.

The best reason to switch to solar hot water is that you will be doing wonderful things for the environment. Using no fossil fuels to generate the energy to heat your household’s water, your greenhouse footprint will be very small. Compare this to electric hot water systems which generate about twice as much CO2 as the average car every year. The benefits of going solar are clear: financial savings, clean energy and saving the planet.

Solar water heating systems can be implemented as active or passive systems. Active solar water heaters use electrically powered pumps and other equipment to circulate water or a heat transfer fluid, such as anti freeze fluid through the system. Passive solar water systems circulate water or heat transfer fluid without electric pumps or other devices. Some systems are more suited to cold climates and others are more suited to milder climates.

Most solar water systems are powered by the sun but use electricity to drive the water through the system. So in effect you are only using 50% of the energy you would use with a conventional gas or electric system. If you use a passive system, this uses the sun to both heat the water and keep it moving, meaning you do not need an electric or gas powered pump at all. This saves a further 10-15% of energy.

These systems are a very simple and effective means of heating water. For most household use, the water temperature does not need to be above 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit above the temperature of the body. This can easily be achieved. If there is too much cloud about, a simple electrical tankless water heater as backup can be used.

Setting up a solar water heating unit does require skilled installation. The solar panel needs to be placed in a path exactly where it gets the most sunlight. The tilt of the solar panel is a most significant element which will determine the quantity of solar power that can be transformed into usable power.

For questions about financial considerations and rising energy costs, for concerns about your immediate environment and the health and longevity of the planet, a solar hot water heating system seems to have all the answers.