Solar Water Heating

Active Systems

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An active system is one where the exchange fluid is actively pumped from the storage tank through the collectors and back into the tank. An electronic controller, a small pump, valves and other components are needed for proper operation and future ability to service.

The collector itself is usually constructed of an insulated aluminum box into which an all copper absorber plate is positioned, and then a low-iron tempered glass cover plate is added to create the greenhouse effect that delivers the high (120-180 Deg.F.) temperatures required for modern household usage.
The modern solar water heating system consists of a single or multiple collectors on the roof, providing the heat energy that is stored in a well insulated tank. Depending on the climate a direct or indirect exchange method may be used. 
In cold climates or where freezing temperatures occur on a regular basis during the winter, a heat exchange system using anti-freeze such as a non-toxic glycol solution may be used to prevent damage to the collection system on the roof. in more temperate climates such as Central and South Florida, a direct exchange method using the water that actually comes out of your tap is used to carry the sun's energy from the roof into the storage tank. The tank then holds the heated water for when the household needs it.

NEWS RELEASE

COST SAVING SOLAR WATER HEATER IN STREET OF DREAMS HOME AT PHILLIPS LANDING SIGNALS NEW HOME BUILDING TREND

With advanced technology that makes solar energy more than twice as efficient as it was 15 years ago and a Florida energy code that rewards builders--and homeowners – -who make use of such efficiencies, Solar Contractor David Boehmer sees a bright new future for solar hot water heaters. 

And the installation of a solar energy powered hot water heater in a million dollar Street of Dreams home at Phillips Landing in southwest Orlando recently is a clear signal that both builders and consumers are beginning to accept solar energy as a "mainstream" resource.

Boehmer, a solar water heating contractor with Florida Solar Technology, Inc. of Sanford, is an expert in the evolution of solar energy technology. He has been following the development of solar energy consumer products for decades. For two years, he served as chairman of the Energy Committee of the Home Builders Assn. of Mid-Florida. "In 1977 Florida tried to mandate solar hot water heaters in all new homes," Boehmer said, "instead, we opted for a broader system of energy efficiency incentives. Now, solar technology has reached the stage that we can materially impact that system." The Florida Energy Code states that a solar hot water heater will cut annual energy consumption between 20 and 30 percent. Florida's Energy Code assigns points to various energy users- – from lighting fixtures and air-conditioning to insulation and window surfaces – -and requires that all new homes compile an accumulated point score under 100. Solar water heaters, according to the Code, take between 15 and 20 points off the total energy tally – -a significant reduction that not only cuts a home's overall energy "drain", but reduces fuel costs as well.

Boehmer said an average household of five family members spends "$15 per person per month for electric-heated hot water. A solar water heater, Boehmer said, cuts $45 to $75 per month off the family power bill. "That," said Boehmer, "is about what a monthly power bill totaled back in the mid-1970s when the earliest versions of this technology were introduced to the market." Florida Solar Technology, Inc.. was among the first Florida companies to aggressively market solar hot water systems, Boehmer said. Today, the industry is "heating up," "There is really no comparison between solar and conventional," Boehmer said. "Over a 30 year mortgage period, the amortized cost of a solar hot water heater runs $30 to $34 per month, balanced against an energy cost savings of $45 to $70 per month. That equates to a positive cash flow in anyone's book." 

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