If you want to use solar power to heat your water, there are two different types of solar water heating systems that you can invest in and have installed in your home. The two primary types of solar water heating systems are active systems and passive systems. Here is a quick overview of how an active solar water heating system works.
For a solar water heating system, you are going to have to install a flat plate collector that is used to absorb energy to the sun. A loop will run from the flat solar plate to the water heater that will be filled with an anti-freezer fluid and will be attached to a pump and your actual water heater. Then you will have the usual pipes that will run off of your water heater to your house.
Active Closed Solar Loop
Active solar water heating systems use an active solar loop. Solar energy is collected via a solar plate that is attached to your home, and that energy is immediately transferred via a tube to your solar water heater. The coils inside of the heater are heated up, and hot water is created. The solar energy that is created is used right away and is not stored for later use.
An active solar water heating system can be set up using either a direct and indirect circulation system.
Direct Circulation Systems
Within the direct circulation system, water is pumped through the collectors or water tank and then the water is pumped through your home. This type of system is designed for areas in the South that rarely experience freezing weather and is not designed for climates that experience all four seasons.
Indirect Circulation System
Active solar water heating systems can also be set up with indirect circulation systems. With indirect circulation systems, the pumps in your system are used to pump a fluid through both the collectors and the heat exchanges that do not freeze. This liquid is designed to transfer heat to the water in your home. The water that is heated up via the heat-transfer liquid is then pumped into your home whenever you turn on the hot water faucet. These types of systems are designed to work well in areas where it freezes more frequently from the fall through to spring. Indirect circulation systems help keep your pipes warm and help prevent your pipes from freezing when the temperatures get cold outside.
An active solar water heating system works well in areas where you get lots of sunlight and can be set up to work well in both mild and harsher climates by going with different circulation systems. Talk to a plumber, such as those at Johnny Pipewrench LLC, about which type of circulation system would work best for your home and the region you live in.