What is Solar Hot Water/Thermal? Using the sun’s energy to heat water or propylene glycol and run the transfer fluid through a heat exchanger to transfer the energy to either one’s domestic hot water or to their hydronic heating systems fluid to heat the house. (Propylene glycol is a food based antifreeze that is non-toxic and is used in pressurized systems where the fluid will need to be in the system at all times, in essence it is for freeze protection.)
We do use and design drain-back solar systems, where the fluid travels through the collectors and when the system has reached its goal temperature it will shut down and the fluid will drain back into a tank into a conditioned space. In these systems, propylene glycol is not necessary; however it can be used for extra safety measures.
The national average for hot water usage is about 20 gallons per person, per day; this includes showers, dishes, laundry, and other miscellaneous uses. In some households this can be a lot of hot water needed to get through a day. New Mexicans who have a conventional, (ie. Electric or Gas) hot water heater use fossil fuel energy to heat their water for everyday uses. When in this climate, the sun can be used almost every day to heat our domestic hot water. Also included in the system is a back-up for the few times that we have 3-4 cloudy days. There can be an electric element or through another heat exchanger one’s boiler can be used to heat the tank for domestic uses. (With the installation of a Domestic Hot Water System you can eliminate up to 20 tons of carbon released into the atmosphere.)
Are you looking to replace your hot water heater? If so, our solar domestic hot water system may be an ideal fit for you. It includes two collectors, your choice of a 60 gal or 92 gal tank, and drain-back installation for freeze and over heat protection. The system is affordable and can be installed in roughly 3-4 days. If you are looking to replace your old hot water heater you can think of investing your money in solar instead of the expenditure of buying another inefficient hot water heater. Remember that the system is eligible for the 40% tax credit!
Solar hot water heating is using the sun to heat a much larger amount of fluid that can be used to heat one’s home either through radiant floors and or radiators. Storage can either be in large storage tanks or in one’s concrete slab/floor. These systems will also have back-up from the boiler which will pick up the load if there are a few cloudy days in a row.