Passive solar water heaters
A passive solar water heating system is the simplest design, and typically the most inexpensive because of their simplicity. While they aren’t as efficient as active solar hot water systems, they are reliable and long-lasting. They also have reduced maintenance needs in comparison to the other system designs available. This is because there are no moving parts used to circulate water within the system. The two types of passive solar water heater systems are batch systems and thermosyphon systems.
A batch system, or integral collector-storage system, works best for warmer climates, where temperatures don’t fall below freezing often. They can provide 20 to 40 gallons of hot water during the daytime or evening peak hours.
Thermosyphon systems also work well for climates which rarely experience freezing temperatures. They can provide for daily hot water usage for households using about 30 to 80 gallons of hot water each day
Active solar water heaters
More complex than passive systems, active solar water heater systems incorporate a solar hot water pump to move fluid inside the system. They can also offer protection from freezing temperatures. The two types of active water heater systems are open loop systems and closed loop systems.
Open loop systems are best for climates with infrequent freezing. They can provide 40 to 80 gallons of hot water for use each day.
Closed loop systems can be used for homes which experience frequent freezing each year. They can also supply a larger volume of hot water, providing 40 to 100 gallons for use each day.
Smith Sustainable Design can help you choose the appropriate system design for your solar hot water heater system. Taking into consideration your household’s hot water needs, and the climate, we’ll design the right system to meet your needs and provide you with energy efficient hot water year-round.