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Solar Water Heating

historyHorace de Saussure, a noted Swiss naturalist, observed in the 1760s, "It is a known fact, and a fact that has probably been known for a long time, that a room, a carriage, or any other place is hotter when the rays of the sun pass through glass. To determine the effectiveness of trapping heat with glass covers, de Saussure built a rectangular box out of half-inch pine, insulated the inside, and had the top covered with glass, and had two smaller boxes placed inside. When exposed to the sun, the bottom box heated to 228 degrees F (109 degrees C) or 16 degrees F (9 degrees C) above the boiling point of water. Horace de Saussure was unsure of how the sun heated the glass boxes. Today we can better explain what happened. Sunshine (photons) penetrated the glass covers. The black inner lining absorbed the sunlight and converted it into heat. Though clear glass allows the rays of the sun to easily enter through it, it prevents heat from doing the same. As the glass trapped the solar heat in the box, it heated up. Its inventor realized that someday the hot box might have important practical applications, as "it is quite small, inexpensive and easy to make." Indeed, the hot box has become the prototype for the solar collectors that have provided sun-heated water to millions since 1892.

In the attempt to go green, many of us are tempted to look to the sun for are heating and energy needs. However, despite the upsurge in renewable and sustainable forms of energy being sold the overwhelming majority of homeowners remain reluctant when it comes to making the switch. Residential solar water heating is one of the areas that many neglect.

DIY solar water heating systems are available from Northern Lights Solar Solutions. These systems are designed to be installed by a customer with no previous experience with solar water heating. The systems have been pre-enegineered to be optimized for the maximum performance, at the same time providing a system that is safe to operate. The DIY solar water heating packages include every component a customer will need to self install a solar water heater.

The planet is in a state of peril ecologically unless we act now. This is one of the most commonly spent lines to urge all of us to switch our energy source from fossil fuels to something more renewable and sustainable. What experts fail to tell people is that there are several advantages that can be gained by implementing such procedures beyond saving the planet. By installing domestic solar water heating you as a homeowner will be using something that is minimally evasive while at the same time doing more than your part to reduce your carbon footprint.

There are a few types of solar water collectors on the market today. The most popular in North America is the flat plate collector. This is a good collector for domestic hot water for most of the season but loses its performance in the winter. Solar vacuum tubes are a more advanced solar water collector that produce a higher temperature. However, their major advantage is in winter performance. Heating hot water in the winter with solar vacuum tubes will outperform all other types of solar collectors.

The most common question regarding solar water heating is the costs. Consumers want to know what kind of capital investment is required for a solar water heater. What is the performance savings of a solar water heating? What are the paybacks for a solar water heater?

There are many types of solar water heaters including:

  • Pressurized Solar Water Heaters
  • Thermosiphon Solar Water Heaters
  • Compact Solar Water Heaters
  • Home Made Solar Water Heaters
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