Since the beginning of time, the sun has been the source of energy and life on earth. It is a huge nuclear reactor, at 6,000 ºC, which provides our planet with heat and light. A solar water heater is an efficient and reliable technology that converts sunlight into heat to produce your hot water. Solar thermal technology is for water heating. Active space (or air) heating for large buildings can also be achieved by solar ventilation systems.
This type of system typically uses a transpired collector, consisting of a thin, black metal panel mounted on a south-facing wall to absorb the sun’s heat. Two main types of solar collectors, both available on the Irish market, can be recommended: A Flat plate collectors, with a selective absorber, are well suited for hot water production and low temperature heating. And an Evacuated tube collectors which are more efficient at higher temperature and when solar radiation is less intense.
Without precise knowledge of hot water usage and climatic conditions it is difficult to specify the level of contribution a solar system will make to hot water production. However, it is generally accepted that a well-designed system will provide the majority (typically 80%) of a family’s hot water requirements during the summer months and make a useful contribution during the rest of the year. This means that up to 60% of the bull for heating water can be saved in a typical year.
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