What Is A Solar Heater?

Producing hot water for domestic use is one of the major reasons for skyrocketing power bills in the colder regions of the world. However, hot water is indispensable, a cost that cannot be avoided. Solar heaters are powered by sun’s energy, which is free. This is a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate. Solar water heating systems are composed of storage tanks and solar collectors. These can be of two types- the active solar heaters and the passive solar heaters.

Active solar heaters

There are two types of active solar water heating systems: Direct circulation systems and indirect circulation system. The former has a pretty simple design. Here you have a solar collector. A solar collector converts solar radiation into heat and transfer that heat to water stored in a storage tank. The water is circulated by a pump through channels (also known as “risers”) in the collector. As the water moves up the collector it gets hotter and returns into the tank. Active solar heaters work well in climates where it rarely freezes.

In indirect solar system, the pump circulates a non-freezing, heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water in the storage tank. This system works well in freezing climates.

Passive solar heating systems

These systems are less expensive than active solar systems. But they are less efficient too. However, passive systems can be more reliable and durable. There are two basic types of passive systems:

Integral collector-storage passive systems: Here the cold water from the house flows into the collector where it is heated by the sun. Hot water from the collector flows to a standard hot water auxiliary tank within the house.

Thermosyphon systems:
In this system the collector is always mounted below the water storage tank. The cold water from the tank flows through a descending water pipe to the collector. The collector heats up the water, which again reaches the tank through an ascending water pipe at the upper end of the collector. The consumer can use the hot water from the top of the tank. The used water is replaced by cold water that gets in from the bottom of the tank. This again is heated by the collector. This process goes on.





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