Solar Water Heating with Natural Gas Backup

standard gas hot water tank (two-tank system – diagram 1) or it may be fed … With the use of low flow shower heads, and water and energy efficient …

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Solar Water Heating with Natural Gas Backup
Solar Water Heating with Natural Gas Backup Installing a solar water heater can be a great way to help your home (or business) \”go green\” by capturing and using the sun\’s \”free\” energy (solar energy) to help produce hot water. However, for hot water to be available whenever you need it, be it for an early morning shower or evening bath, there are two very important items you will need: 1. Storage for hot water produced when solar energy is available 2. Back-up energy source to guarantee that hot water will be available when needed Storage and the back-up energy source work together when there is insufficient solar energy to meet the hot water demand (such as in winter when solar energy availability is low and demand for hot water is greatest). Remember, most solar hot water systems are designed to work in combination with another energy source. How Solar Water Heaters Work Solar water heaters use the sun to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid such as a water-glycol antifreeze mixture in collectors generally mounted on a roof. Besides the collectors, solar water heating systems include storage tanks and, depending on the system, electric pumps and controls. There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which has an electric pump to circulate the fluid through the collectors, and passive, which do not have pumps. Solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank. Solar storage tanks have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collectors. Otherwise, they are similar to a conventional gas or electric water heater tank. Natural gas, the greener fuel, has been the natural choice for water heating for generations and it is now the natural choice as the backup energy source for a new generation of technologies such as the solar hot water system. Solar water heaters can operate in any climate. Performance varies depending on how much solar energy is available at the site, and on how cold the water temperature is coming into the system. You\’ll want to make sure your site has enough available sunshine to meet your needs efficiently and economically. Your local solar equipment dealer can perform a solar site analysis for you or show you how to do your own analysis.

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