The Basics of Solar Water Heaters: Learn How They Work and What Options Are Available
As solar water heaters become more popular, more and more are becoming curious about them. At The Stanley Louis Company we are always happy to answer your questions if you want to call us at 800-217-6527. In the meantime, you can read on to get the basic answers about this unique option in water heaters.
Solar Systems Are Broken Down Into Collector and Circulation Systems
Solar water heaters are essentially just what they sound like: A system in which the sun heats water and that water is used within a home or business. They are generally broken down into how the water is collected and stored, also known as the collection system, and how the water is circulated throughout the property, also known as the circulation system.
Types of Solar Water Collectors
A water collector does what it sounds like it does – it collects water that can then be warmed by the sun. One popular option is a solar batch collector, which is sometimes called an Integrated Collector-Storage (ICS) system. This option heats water in dark tubes or tanks that include an insulated box and the water is stored there until it is drawn out for circulation. The water can stay in this box for a long time so it is a great choice if you have low demand for water but want it to remain very hot.
A flat-plate collector is made up of copper tubes that are fitted to flat plates. There are several configurations of this but most commonly it will be several parallel tubes that are connected at each end by a pair of pipes: The inlet and outlet manifolds. This is stored within an insulated box and is then covered with tempered glass. These are just a few options but are two of the most popular. We can explain other choices when you contact The Stanley Louis Company at 800-217-6527.
Types of Circulation Systems
There are a few circulation systems as well. First is the direct systems circulation in which water moves through the solar collectors and it is heated by the sun, and that heated water is stored in a tank and either sent to a tankless water heater or used right away. This is best if it rarely freezes.
There are also closed-loop, also known as indirect, systems that use liquid to move heat from the sun to the water in a storage tank. The sun’s own thermal energy then gets the fluid hot in the solar collector. This fluid eventually passes through a heat exchanger within the tank, and it then transfers to the water heater. This can be used in climates that freeze because the liquid used is a non-freezing liquid.
Now there is of course the question: Which is best for your needs? That depends on dozens of factors. The best way to find out is to contact The Stanley Louis Company at 800-217-6527 and request a free quote.