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Solar Hot Water Systems Produce Solar Thermal Energy
With the technology of solar thermal energy, solar water collectors absorb the heat of the sun and store it in water. Solar water collectors are parts of a solar water system which makes it possible to use the heated water in households for showering, washing or even as warm water in swimming pools.
Solar water heating is different to photovoltaics, as it does not convert solar energy into electricity, but harnesses it with the help of water. Water is a thermal mass material and can save solar energy. This energy can be saved during the day and released when required.
Solar Water Collectors - Hot Water PanelsMost solar water collectors are flat plate collectors or evacuated tube collectors. They can be used for residential as well as commercial buildings to heat swimming pools, water or air.
It is also possible to site a PV panel next to a solar thermal panel, to generate electricity that can be used to power the solar heating pump.
Advantages of A Solar Water SystemHouses in the U.S. need hot and cold water all year round. Most of them use central water heaters which are run electrically, using gas or oil power. They can be quite expensive where a lot of hot water is necessary.
Once installed, a solar thermal water system produces hot water for free and the running costs are generally very low. A solar water system can passively maintain comfortable water temperatures and help reduce energy consumption.