Solar water heaters are an effective and affordable way to heat your water. They can be used in homes, swimming pools, and even community centers. In addition to being energy-efficient, they also save money on electricity bills. A typical solar water heater can produce 10 to 90 percent of the hot water it needs. And they can pay for themselves in about 15 years or less.
While solar water heaters are wildly successful in other parts of the world, they are still relatively rare in the U.S. Despite this, the technology is becoming more accessible and affordable. In fact, in Israel, more than 85% of households use solar water heaters. And although the technology is still relatively new to the U.S., its success in other countries has sparked interest in its use in our homes.
Solar water heaters use transparent materials to capture sunlight and heat water. They work best in climates with low freezing temperatures and significant daytime hot water needs. Solar water heaters work by heating water in a collector placed on the roof and then pumping it into your plumbing system when you open a faucet. The typical solar water heater uses a 40-gallon tank to collect sunlight and heat water.
Solar water heaters have three main components. First, they use an absorber plate. The absorber plate is a small metal box coated with a layer of thick black glass. This glass traps solar energy and transfers the heat to a tank of potable water or oil. Once the fluid is heated, it flows through a copper coil and back into the collector. Then, it cools down and flows back through the collector to pick up more heat. In addition to the collector plate, a heat exchanger in the solar water heater allows the water to warm up before it enters the tank.