About Solar Energy Water Heating
The history of using the thermal energy of the sun's rays to heat water for residential or commercial purposes dates back hundreds of years to the mid-18th century when a Swiss scientist developed the first incarnation of a solar water heater. More than 100 years later, an American plumbing manufacturer built the first solar water heater to be sold commercially. It made it possible for people who were able to afford the then-substantial sum of $15 to enjoy the comforts of having hot water available in their homes and businesses without having to pay for the costs of burning fuel to heat the water. Solar water heaters have been in use in various parts of the world since then, but recent developments in solar energy technology have made this an even more attractive solution for businesses and homeowners looking to cut energy costs.
Benefits of Using the Sun to Heat Your Water
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, solar water heating systems by themselves routinely slash the user's energy bills in half, but saving money is not the only benefit of this type of alternative energy system. In addition to saving money, you can also go a long way toward preserving the environment by installing and using a solar water heating system. The average system is capable of cutting your carbon dioxide emissions in half, with the potential to avoid the emission of 4,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, a figure which ENERGY STAR compares to the amount of CO2 saved by keeping your car parked instead of driving for 4 months out of the year.
Examples of Solar Water Heating Systems
There are several different types of solar water heaters, but they all provide a clean and free source of hot water for showering, doing dishes or laundry, or for other purposes. A simple type is the batch collector, which is essentially an insulated tank that absorbs thermal energy from the sun's rays as they beat down on your rooftop. The flat-plate collector runs water through a long line of copper tubes that lie parallel to one another. Evacuated tube collectors make use of a pair of tubes with a vacuum between them, which prevents heat loss while the water is stored until it is used. When you contact us at Mercury Solar, one of the consultants from our Honolulu solar paneling company will be able to conduct a free consultation to evaluate your situation.