How Solar Hot Water Systems Work

The solar hot water system is a natural way of heating water without using electrical power or gas. The water only flows around glass tubes and is heated up by alternative energy – the natural heat outside. It is considered as one of the best methods since it does not pollute the environment. It is also cost effective as you don’t have to spend more money after your initial installation unlike the electrical heaters and the gas heaters. For the water to get heated up there is a process in which it has to follow. Below is detailed information on how solar hot water system works.

Solar Hot Water System

The Collector

The solar system is a combination of several units which must work together for the whole system to function. First is the collector. As the name implies, it is the part where the water stays and also where it gets heated up. It can be considered as the main part of the solar water heating process. There are two types of collectors.

  • Flat Plate Collectors

This is just a flat plate with running copper tubes that are connected to the water storage tanks. The tubes are covered with a glass plate. When the sun heats up the coppers tubes, the water inside the tubes gets heated.

  • Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors

There are two glass tubes that are fused at the top to bottom. The air inside is evacuated to form a vacuum. The vacuum helps by ensuring that the small amount of heat received by the copper tubes is not lost to the surrounding but it’s used to heat up the water. A heat pipe which is also known as copper wire is run through the centre of the vacuum glass tube. Unlike in flat plate solar collectors where the tank is placed above it, this one has its tank at the bottom. You therefore need to pump the water up to the collector.

Just like wind power and other forms of alternative energy, this system of water heating has a lot of advantage compared to the flat plate. Among the advantages is that it’s more superior when it comes to heating the water. This is because it’s able to extract the small amount of heat from the air without necessarily relying on the direct sunlight. Since the tank is placed inside the home the amount of heat lost is reduced. Your stored water remains warm for days, and hence you can use it even at night.

Solar Hot Water Storage TankThe Water Tank

This is the storage tank for the water. The hot water jets in the tank from the top while the cold water to the solar heating system is flown through the bottom outlet. The temperature of the water is regulated through the mixing of the cold and the hot water through a thermal mixer at the outlet.

How Does the System Works

As discussed in the different parts above, the solar water system has a process in which the water has to follow for it to be heated. Initially, water must be provided into the storage tank through pumps or any other means. The storage tank is connected to the collectors. This is the main area where the water gets heated. From the tank, the water flows into the heat pipes in which they absorb any amount of heat from the collector. Through convection, the hot water moves back to the storage tank, and the cold water flows into the heat pipes. After the continuous process, the water inside the tank gets heated up and be ready to be used.

To ensure that you enjoy the services of the solar water heating system, you should ensure that you have adequate knowledge on how each and every part works as stipulated in the points above. You should also pick the best solar heating system and solar panels with regards to the surrounding.


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