A solar water heater is a device designed to utilize sunlight for heating water across various domestic, industrial, or commercial applications. Typically, it comprises solar collectors that absorb sunlight, converting it into thermal energy, along with a system to transfer this heat to the water. There are two primary types of solar water heaters: passive systems, where natural convection circulates water through the collector, and active systems, employing pumps to circulate water. Solar water heaters serve as eco-friendly and energy-efficient alternatives to conventional water heating methods, diminishing reliance on electricity or gas. They actively contribute to sustainable and renewable energy practices by harnessing solar power to fulfil hot water requirements.
There are two primary categories of solar water heaters: passive systems and active systems, each encompassing various subtypes and variations.
ICS solar water heaters, also known as batch systems, integrate a storage tank directly with solar collectors. The collector heats the water, which is then stored within the same unit.
Batch heaters are straightforward systems where water is heated in a tank or collector exposed to sunlight. They are commonly employed for small-scale applications.
In direct-circulation or open-loop systems, water is pumped from the storage tank through the solar collectors and returned to the tank. These systems are suitable for regions where freezing is not a concern.
Indirect-circulation or closed-loop systems employ a heat-transfer fluid, like antifreeze, to convey heat from the collector to the water in the storage tank. This type is preferable in colder climates where freezing may occur.
Drain back systems use a pump to circulate water from the storage tank to the solar collector. When the pump is inactive, the water drains back to the tank, mitigating freezing concerns.
Hybrid systems amalgamate solar water heating with an additional energy source, such as a gas or electric booster. This ensures a continuous hot water supply even during periods of low sunlight.
Choosing the right solar water heater involves considering a range of factors to ensure it meets your specific needs, location, and preferences.