Solar Water Heater

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Solar water heaters are specially designed for our country, the most widespread devices that harness solar energy, providing us with hot water for use and heating. Greece ranks second in the European Union in the use of solar water heaters and ninth globally.

What is a solar water heater?

Solar water heaters are devices that use the sun to heat water. They allow significant energy savings, as the sun replaces a large percentage of electricity, heating oil, or natural gas needed to warm the water. Let’s not forget the sunshine available in Greece.

Most of the water used in the kitchen and bathroom can be heated this way. In addition to use in the bath and sink, the hot water from the solar heater can be used elsewhere. Washing machines and dishwashers can be connected to the solar heater, saving the electricity needed to heat the water and shortening the washing cycles.

How does a solar water heater work?

The basic parts of a solar water heater are the solar collectors, the surface that absorbs solar energy, and the water storage tank.

The solar water heater absorbs light through a collector placed on the roof and converts it into heat. Solar radiation falls on the plate of the solar collectors, which then produces thermal radiation trapped between the plate and the glass.

The storage tank is connected to the solar collectors at the back through pipes. Thus, the heat trapped in the solar collectors leads to the heating of the water circulating in the pipes.

The efficiency of the collectors is higher at noon during the summer months when the sky is cloudless, and the collectors face south. However, the collectors also work well in all seasons if the sky is not cloudy. Similarly, efficiency is better at a tilt of 35° towards the horizon, but good results can be achieved with collectors placed at other angles.

There are three types of solar water heaters:

  1. Simple
  2. Selective
  3. Vacuum solar water heaters

The basic difference between selective and simple solar water heaters is that selective ones absorb a higher percentage of solar radiation with less reflection. Selective solar water heaters have a special coating on the collector’s surface that absorbs more solar radiation.

Vacuum solar water heaters consist of glass tubes with a vacuum between them. These tubes are double-layered; the outer tube is constructed to be very rigid and durable, while the materials of the inner tube are designed for high absorbance and low reflectance.

What does dual or triple energy mean?

Dual energy (heating with solar or/and electricity):

The water heater operates by utilizing either solar energy or electricity (e.g., during cloudy days when solar energy is not sufficient to heat the water). For this purpose, there is an electric resistance placed within the storage section.

Triple energy (heating with solar or/and electricity or/and the hot water from the radiator):

It operates like a dual-energy solar water heater but has an additional input to use the hot water from the radiator produced by the heat pump as a heating medium.

Free Energy from the Sun

The sun, through its radiation, offers us not only light but also heat. The utilization of solar energy has many advantages:

– Solar energy is inexhaustible!

– The sun’s energy is available every day of the year. Even on cloudy days, solar water heaters can work, although to a lesser extent.

– It significantly contributes to reducing climate change.

– It helps the country’s autonomy by reducing the need for energy imports from other countries.

– Solar water heaters can not only provide hot water for use but also contribute to heating the home.

Our country is one of the top countries in terms of sunshine. As a result, we see that Greece is a pioneer in the use of solar energy for heating and producing hot water for use.