Solar Electric Water Heater

Investing in a solar electric water heater can save a fortune off your monthly power bills while cutting your carbon footprint dramatically along with many other advantages.

There are essentially three different options that you have to choose betweenafter you have decided to add a solar electric water heater to your home and you decision depends predominately on your climate. Solar water heaters can work well in all climates but choosing the right system is essential for optimum efficiency.

Warm Climate

If you live in what as known as a warm climate i.e the southern USA, Africa or Australia then your best option is what is known as a passive water system. The advantages of this are as follows:

  • No moving parts
  • Longer Lasting
  • Doesn't require any power
  • Much Cheaper
  • Low investment and a high return

There are other advantges to a passive solar water heating system as well but we can go into that later.

A passive solar electric water heater uses heat to circulate water in the system and thus ahve no moving parts meaning no maintenaince. They are the least efficienct water heating system but in warm climates they can produce up to 90% of a homes hot water requirements.

passive solar electricity water heater

Moderate Climate

Those in moderate climates i.e the UK, central usa and much fo europe an active indirect closed loop system is the best option and provide a home with up to 80% of it's hot water needs. Other benefits of this type of solar electricity water heaterinclude:

  • A low roof load
  • Anti freeze system
  • Low maintainence
  • Low costs (can pay for itself up to 5 times)

This type of drainback system is required for regions with hard freezes but it is not so efficient in warm climates as heat loss occurs in the heat exchangers resulting in a poorer performance than passive systems.

Active Solar electricity water heater

Cold Climate

In really cold regions such as Canada, Northern Europe and Russia homes need an Active indirect closed loop system with evacuated tubes. Systems like these are more expensive but can supply a home with up 100% of it's hot water needs even under grey skies. Benefits include:

  • Works under grey skies
  • up to 90% efficiency
  • Low Maintenance
  • Easy Installation
  • Long life (up to 30 years or more)

The evacutated tubes which come with this system are what gives these systems an efficiency of over 90%.

Evacuated tubes, solar power water heater

Solar water Heating V Conventional water heating

A comparison of solar electricity water heating and conventional water heating quickly highlights the massive benefits that solar water heating can bring to a home and the downsides and inefficiency of a conventional water heating system.

Solar Heating Rebates and Tax Incentives

Most countries around the world have special incentives for encouraging people to think green and go solar. This is true for both solar electric water heating systems and home solar panels.

In America the Government offers a 30% tax credit (direct credit against taxes owed) for all solar power installations so this means that for a $1000 home water heating system you would end up paying $700 add that to 50% to 100% savings you can make each year and you are in for a good investment.

In Australia the government will give you a $500 rebate if you install a solar water heater (of course only on per residence).

The UK government offers payments between £300 and £1250 on all hot solar hot water systems, biomass heating systems and heat pumps.

Most other countries also have various incentives for solar electric water heaters so enquirewith your government portal for more information.

DIY Solar Power Water Heaters

Solar electric Water heaters are expensive, especially for active and drain back models but there are ways that you can have your own entirely efficient system for less that 70% of the cost of commercial installations.

Take a look at some of these quotes from different retailers and installers from the Uk to get an idea of how much a solar power water heater costs.

  1. Solar twin - £3699 installed or £2699 do it yourself
  2. British Gas -£5000 installed
  3. Tesco - £ 4399 installed

How much does it cost if you do it yourself? Wellif you have some DIY experience, a bit of patience and an ability to follow clear instructions then you can create your own solar electric water heater for less $150. It may take a bit of trial and error and it may take you whole weekend to complete it but imagine howproud you'll be once you've built it! You can find out how one such person did so by following his link: www.solarfriend.co.uk.

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