About Flash Energy

Solar Water Heater

13th January 2013 | Company Profile

Solar Water Heating Systems

We are blessed with Solar Energy in abundance at no cost. The solar radiation incident on the surface of the earth can be conveniently utilized for the benefit of human society. One of the popular devices that harness the solar energy is solar hot water system (SHWS).

A solar water heater consists of a collector to collect solar energy and an insulated storage tank to store hot water. The solar energy incident on the absorber panel coated with selected coating transfers the heat to the riser pipes underneath the absorber panel. The water passing through the risers get heated up and are delivered to the storage tank. The re-circulation of the same water through absorber panel in the collector raises the temperature to 80 C (Maximum) in a good sunny day. The total system with solar collector, storage tank and pipelines is called solar hot water system.

The choice of system depends on heat requirement, weather conditions, heat transfer fluid quality, space availability, annual solar radiation, etc. The SHW systems are economical, pollution free and easy for operation in warm countries like ours.

Based on the collector system, solar water heaters can be of two types.

Flat Plate Collectors (FPC) based Solar Water Heaters

The solar radiation is absorbed by Flat Plate Collectors which consist of an insulated outer metallic box covered on the top with glass sheet. Inside there are blackened metallic absorber (selectively coated) sheets with built in channels or riser tubes to carry water. The absorber absorbs the solar radiation and transfers the heat to the flowing water.

Evacuated Tube Collectors (ETC) based Solar Water Heaters

Evacuated Tube Collector is made of double layer borosilicate glass tubes evacuated for providing insulation. The outer wall of the inner tube is coated with selective absorbing material. This helps absorption of solar radiation and transfers the heat to the water which flows through the inner tube.

Salient Features of Solar Water Heating System

Solar Hot Water System turns cold water into hot water with the help of sun's rays.

Around 60 deg. – 80 deg. C temperatures can be attained depending on solar radiation, weather conditions and solar collector system efficiency.

Hot water for homes, hostels, hotels, hospitals, restaurants, dairies, industries etc. Can be installed on roof-tops, building terrace and open ground where there is no shading, south orientation of collectors and over-head tank above SWH system.

SWH system generates hot water on clear sunny days (maximum), partially clouded (moderate) but not in rainy or heavy overcast day.

Only soft and potable water can be used Stainless Steel is used for small tanks whereas Mild Steel tanks with anti-corrosion coating inside are used for large tanks.

Solar water heaters (SWHs) of 100-300 liters capacity are suited for domestic application.

Larger systems can be used in restaurants, guest houses, hotels, hospitals, industries etc.

Fuel Savings:

A 100 liters capacity SWH can replace an electric geyser for residential use and saves 1500 units of electricity annually.

Avoided utility cost on generation

The use of 1000 SWHs of 100 liters capacity each can contribute to a peak load saving of 1 MW.

Environmental benefits

A SWH of 100 liters capacity can prevent emission of 1.5 tons of carbon-dioxide per year.

Life: 15-20 years

Payback period:

3-4 years when electricity is replaced

4-5 years when furnace oil is replaced

5-6 years when coal is replaced

Though the initial investment for a solar water heater is high compared to available conventional alternatives, the return on investment has become increasingly attractive with the increase in prices of conventional energy. The payback period depends on the site of installation, utilization pattern and fuel replaced.