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Solar Hot Water Systems In Orlando (2021 Guide)

There are multiple ways to use solar energy, other than solar power. One of the best utilizations of the sunlight discovered by mankind is solar water heating. Solar water heating systems are gaining popularity due to the increase in energy prices and global warming. Solar hot water systems can be used in any location and climate, and the fuel they use, i.e. sunshine, is absolutely free. 


Before making a decision for installing a solar hot water system in your residential property, you must research reviews about the company you will hire, and proceed accordingly. Everything Solar prides it self in having five-star reviews from a variety of solar customers in the Orlando area for the past 22 years.

DHW Solar Panel

Providing Clean Energy Solutions

 

“Solar water heaters - also called solar domestic hot water systems - can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use -- sunshine -- is free [1].


Solar hot water systems are an innovative way to acquire heated water for your daily needs. They produce energy by utilizing or concentrating the solar radiation from the sun and help in reducing energy bills to a great extent. 


Solar Hot Water Systems Explained


Solar hot water systems consist of solar collectors (usually PV or thermal cells) and storage tanks. A solar collector uses a well-insulated water storage tank. There are two types of solar water heating systems:

  • Active

  • Passive

 

Different Categories of Solar Panels


Standard Solar Panels


Standard solar panels are easily the first choice of homeowners in Orlando. These are easy to install and extract maximum radiation from the sun to convert into energy. The standard panels can be precisely positioned so they get optimum sunlight and are easily fitted to a roof with brackets. Because of their great efficiency, they are capable of yielding a high return on investment. There are three types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels.

 

  • Monocrystalline Solar Panels
    These are the oldest type of solar panels. They are made from around 40 monocrystalline solar cells. These cells are made from pure silicon. 

 

  • Polycrystalline Solar Panels
    Polycrystalline solar panels are said to be a relatively newer development. They are considered to be more efficient than polycrystalline panels. Polycrystalline solar panels are made from fragments of the silicon crystal melted together. 

 

  • Thin-film Solar Panels
    Thin-film solar panels, as the name suggests, are extremely thin and can be produced in a variety of designs and materials. This property makes them suitable for use in a tent or caravan. They may not always be made from silicon, though, sometimes fashioned from Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), Amorphous Silicon (a-Si), and even Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS). 

 

  • Solar Tiles
    Opting for solar tiles instead of solar panels can add to the overall aesthetics of your roof. This is a more flexible option as it can be used in both commercial and residential properties. 

 

Solar Hot water panel on a roof

 

Solar Hot Water System Advantages and Disadvantages

 

Advantages of Solar Hot Water Systems

 

  1. Eco-friendly
    A solar panel is a renewable and clean energy resource. These systems make the homes eco-friendly and have a much lower carbon footprint than electricity produced from fossil fuels. 
  2. Low Maintenance
    Solar hot water systems require little to no maintenance. However, annual maintenance is needed to check the pump and antifreeze.
  3. Efficiency
    Solar heaters utilize the free natural resource of sunlight. Solar hot water systems utilize about 80% of the sun’s radiation and turn it into the heat energy required to provide hot water in homes.
  4. Budget-friendly
    These require basic fittings and a one-time investment as they can work for years without giving you any trouble. The cost of two or more panels is cheaper than larger installations. Solar hot water systems help you make savings on fuel and gas heating bills.
  5. Durable
    Solar hot water systems are extremely durable. A good system can last as long as 15-20 years, with proper yearly maintenance.
  6. Variety of Size and Types
    You can choose from a variety of sizes and types, as per your requirements like the roof space you have, where you are located, etc. If you don’t feel like installing solar panels, you can always go with solar tiles and vice versa. 

 

 

Disadvantages of Solar Hot Water Systems 

 

  1. Climate-dependent
    Most of these systems won’t be helpful on rainy or foggy days. Therefore, determining the feasibility of a solar hot water system for your property according to your local climate is one of the most crucial factors to keep in mind. Generally in Orlando, we have over 230 days of sunshine each year.
  2. Installation Costs
    Installation costs of solar hot water systems can be considered high, but many people forget to factor in the costs that they will save each year, which reduces their total next cost the longer you own one. 
  3. Only Heats Water
    Compared to the photovoltaic panels, a solar water heating system only provides heated water, and cannot power your electrical appliances. To power the rest of your house, you will have to install a photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system, in addition to the solar hot water system.

 

Solar Hot water DHW Tanks Heating Process

A Selection of Solar Collectors


There are many different types of solar collectors; however, all are built with the same basic principles. 


Evacuated Tube Collectors
These collectors use a series of evacuated tubes to heat water for use. These have glass or metal tubes.


Point Focus Collectors
These collectors are huge parabolic dishes made of reflective material that concentrates the sun’s energy onto a single point. 

 

Line Focus Collectors
These collectors use highly reflective materials to collect and concentrate the heat energy from solar radiation. These are capable of tracking the sun in the sky to ensure maximum sunlight collection.

  
Flat Plate Collectors
Flat plates are like metal boxes that have transparent glazing as a cover on top of a dark-colored absorber plate.

 
What Are The Most Efficient Forms Of Solar Thermal Collectors?
The most efficient form of solar thermal collectors is the evacuated tube collectors despite their expensive nature. The metal or glass tubes have a vacuum that allows them to work in colder climates as well.

 

How to Choose the Right Solar Company?

 

Make sure that the solar company you contract:

  • Is providing clean energy solutions;
  • Has quality and experience you can count on;
  • Will help you find your fit: product and application;
  • Is the most certified product in the USA.

 

The SWH model allows you to vary the location, hot water load profiles, mains and set temperature profiles, and characteristics of the collector, heat exchanger, and solar tanks. The model was developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for SAM [2].

 

What Are The Major Applications Of Solar Thermal Collectors?

 

The major applications of solar thermal collectors are: 

  • Solar water heating;
  • Solar electric power generation;
  • Solar furnaces;
  • Solar-distillation;
  • Solar heating of buildings;
  • Solar greenhouses;
  • Solar drying of agriculture and animal products;
  • Solar cooking and many more.

 

Everything Solar

Hire us and take full advantage of what we have to offer. At Everything Solar, we have unlimited design resources with extensive experience serving multiple industries from residential to commercial and have been doing so for the past 22 years.

 

Customers Frequently asked Questions about Solar Hot Water Systems

 

  1. How much does a solar water system cost?
    The cost of installing a typical solar water heating system is around $9,000 before rebates and incentives. When you factor in savings from the 30% residential investment tax credit (ITC), the estimated price can amount to $6,300.

    Investing in solar hot water is a wise decision financially. As soon as your installation is complete, your solar hot water system starts producing heated water.
  2. Are solar hot water systems worth it?
    Solar hot water systems are totally worth it. It is considered to be a returning investment as it replaces the energy you would be buying from the power company. A solar hot water system allows you to get away from gas and hydropower and has no carbon footprint, whatsoever.

    Solar water heating systems have been known in aome cases to reduce bills by up to a whopping 80%. The system doesn’t produce any noise and is easy to maintain.
  3. Do solar hot water systems work in winter?
    Yes, solar hot water systems work in winters. These systems are built to accommodate harsh winter conditions. You just need to hire an experienced solar technician to install your system so that it works all year round.

    Make sure to get the solar panel system installed with frost protection; otherwise, the system may burst, snap, or split. A solar hot water system uses antifreeze fluid to prevent damages in case of a temperature drop. 

References

1. Solar Water Heaters. Energy.gov.  https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating/solar-water-heaters

2. NREL. System Advisor Model. https://sam.nrel.gov/solar-water-heating.html