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> Learning Center > Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot Water

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Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot WaterThe main way to get solar hot water is with a solar collector that is mounted in a sunny location, either high up on a roof, or on the ground in an area that is not blocked by trees or other shade providing obstacles. Water heating uses roughly one third of all energy expenses, an average of $400 per year/household. A solar water heater can pay for itself in as little as five years, and last for decades longer than a conventional water heater.

Solar hot water works in much the same way as solar heating. As sunlight is collected it is turned into heat. Water or similar heat retaining liquid is then pumped through a series of pipes that run through the solar collector. As the liquid gets to a hot enough temperature it is pumped to a tank, or used, and more liquid replaces it. Instead if heating walls or the air, as in solar house heating, the heat goes to a water tank and heats water.

Solar hot water is an effective way to cheaply get hot water. Even in cold climates with freezing temperatures can use the suns heat to warm water. Special anti-freeze fluids are used in those areas, so the collector doesn’t freeze and crack. Over 1.5 million homes in the U.S. use solar energy to heat their water or swimming pools.

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