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The conversion of sunlight into heat for a solar thermal collector
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Solar Water Heaters

The conversion of sunlight into heat for a solar thermal collector

A solar water heater is an attractive alternative to electric geysers, especially if you want a sustainable, environmentally-friendly, cost-saving option. Solar water heating is the conversion of sunlight into heat for water heating using a solar thermal collector.

How do solar hot water heater work?

Solar water heater systems use panels or tubes, called solar collectors, to gather solar energy. The solar collectors convert the infra-red portion of visible light into heat. They are filled with a mix of water and glycol. This fluid is pumped round a circuit, which passes through the hot water cylinder.

To find out if solar water heating is right for you, there are a few key questions you need to consider:

  • Do you have a sunny place to put the panels
  • Do u you have space for a large water cylinder

Using solar energy to heat water is an effective way to use Zambia’s abundant sunshine, save energy, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Solar Water Heaters make up about 13 per cent of all hot water systems used in Zambia.

Although more costly to install than conventional systems, solar water heaters pay off in the long run by saving on your electricity bill. Wondering where to purchase one? Below is a list of companies in Zambia that offer a range of solar water heaters. All solar water heaters come with a warranty and some suppliers also do installations.

Pumps circulate household water through the collectors and into the home. They work well in climates where it rarely freezes. Pumps circulate a non-freezing, heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home.

Disadvantages of Solar Water Heaters

Compared to photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels only heat water. Solar heaters require sufficient roof space to accommodate them. Solar water heaters require direct sunlight to function. The system does not function on cloudy, rainy, or foggy days.

Of course, solar water heaters can be worthwhile in some cases. They are more effective than solar panels at their specific function - heating water. The sunlight only has to heat the water, not get turned into electricity that then powers a system to heat the water.

Each evacuated tube collector needs about 50 square feet, and each will generate anywhere from 80 to 120 gallons of hot water per day. Commercial solar hot-water systems can be as small as two or three collectors, or as large as several hundred or more.

If you're considering installing a solar hot water system, you're probably wondering – will my solar hot water work during winter? In short: yes. Even if you live in an area where you temperatures drop below zero, solar hot water systems are built to accommodate harsh winter conditions.

The average life expectancy of certified solar water heating systems is 20 years, much longer than standard gas or electric storage water heaters.

Solar hot water heaters are split into two broad categories: passive and active. The primary difference between the two is that active systems require circulating pumps to move water, and passive systems rely on gravity to move water.

Yes,it works even on cloudy days. Hot water can still be generated during the monsoon as the heater will use diffused radiation available in the atmosphere.