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Installing A Solar Power Water Heater - Will You Save Money

Mar 29, 2008
Solar power water heater systems can help to lower your energy usage and the associated costs (heating water often accounts for a large proportion of the average households energy bills) so should you install a system ? This article will set out the criteria for making this decision easier and asks if you can justify installing a solar water heating system on purely financial grounds.

Solar power water heater systems are usually used in conjunction with the existing hot water system. They consist of a method of collecting thermal rays from the sun. They use a solar collector that can simply be a water container that has added features to absorb the sun's heat or a length of tubing that also has sun absorbing features added to it.

Water is moved past the flat plate collector or through the tubing. The will heat the water that is then pumped into the home plumbing, water tank or boiler.

So traditional utility supplied energy usage is reduced when it comes to heating water as the water has been already heated by the solar system. This will save on utility bills but will it save enough money to justify the time and expense required to install a solar water system in the first place ?

To start with, you should look into your existing hot water system. Saving money is not only about looking at free sources of energy but making your use of energy as efficient as possible. You should consider installing the latest energy saving boiler and get proper lagging to insulate the tank. The boiler should be the right size for your hot water needs. An over sized boiler will cost more over time.

With this established you can then consider the viability of a solar water heater system. There are five things that should be factored into your thinking :

How much hot water is used by your family annually - You would probably have to average this out from a month or a few months rather than recording the whole year. However, you expect to use more hot water during the winter so factor this into your calculations.

What time is hot water used - There will be greater efficiency of the solar system when the sun is at it's hottest. This will be the best time to use the system.

Is the current heating system conducive with the solar system.

What will a solar power water heater system cost - this really depends on the size of the system which is dependent on your usage of hot water. However, prices of solar water systems should drop in future as more emphasis is placed on renewable or free energy sources.

The cost of the energy that your current hot water system uses - this will undoubtedly rise in the future as most of these fuels are finite. The price to find, extract and transport the raw materials will increase and this will be past onto the consumer.

So it seems clear that in the future it will make sense to get a solar water system but it cannot really be quantified. But what about the here and now ? when you investigate possible systems you will be given indications of the saving you can make. You can factor this into the predicted annual usage of your home and get a figure on how much savings can be made. Again it is not rigorous but it will give you an idea.
About the Author
For more detailed information on solar powered water heater systems and information on solar powered landscape lighting visit solarpowerappliances.com.
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