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Solar Hot Water Panels For Solar Water Systems

A solar water heating system has as its main components solar collectors, also called solar hot water panels. The principle of a solar collector is quite easy – the sun shines on it and heats up the liquid inside. The two general categories of solar collectors working with liquids are flat plate and evacuated tube collectors.
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Each solar collector type has its advantages in terms of price, efficiency, and aesthetics. Evacuated tube collectors are more efficient than flat plate solar collectors but are more expensive. Both types of solar hot water panels are working with liquids for heat transportation and are usually used in water heating systems. Solar collectors working with air are more often used for solar air heating systems.

Cover Your Hot Water Needs With Solar Collectors

Solar collectors are not only suitable for newly-built houses, but they can also be installed on already existing buildings. Once installed, solar hot water panels are able to provide 40-50% of annual domestic hot water requirements.

Technology of Solar Collectors

One of the main components of a solar collector is the absorber plate, usually a coated metal plate. It absorbs solar radiation, heats up, and releases the heat to a liquid which feeds the hot water system.

Solar Collectors - Flat Plate CollectorsSource: Stan Zurek

Low-, Medium- And High-Temperature Collectors and Their Primary Uses

The U.S. Energy Information Administration classifies solar collectors as low-, medium-, or high-temperature collectors. Low temperature solar hot water panels are usually flat plate collectors used to heat swimming pools, although they can also be used for space heating. Medium-temperature solar hot water panels can be flat plate or evacuated tube solar collectors and are used for heating water or air for residential and commercial use. A high temperature solar collector concentrates sunlight using mirrors or lenses and is generally used for electric power production.

A qualified heating installer is able to give professional advice on the appropriate technology for individual projects and solar hot water panels installation. Find a solar installer in your area and receive free information about the right type of solar collector for your home.

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Written by: Christian Märtel, Editor