Solar Water Heaters

by Matthill31 on November 9, 2017 - 2:52pm

Matthew Hill, Umrick Singh & Luka Guenette-Larocque

Solar Water Heaters


As seen in the movie "Seeking the Current", solar water heaters are part of our future in terms of heating our homes. It is where energy from the sun is converted into heat to warm water using a solar thermal collector (solar pannels). Solar water heating began in 1980 and is today mostly used in China, Japan, India, and all over Europe.

The system works all year round. It is capable of storing energy in a hot water cylinder for times where sunlight is not available. Sunlight is free, so using solar water heaters will reduce your energy bills. Once you've paid for the initial installation, you don't have to pay again which means no more hot water billing either. Using solar energy significantly reduces the amount of carbon dioxide you emit which means your carbon footprint will be better. Studies show that solar energy decreases CO2 emissions by 50%. It also lasts much longer, taking a step towards sustainability. Traditional hot water heaters last around 12 years whereas solar water heaters can last up to 30 years. Solar pannels are installed on the roof of your home and the energy received runs through evcuated tubes to be transported to a hot water cylinder. Many homes in certain countries already huse solar water heating to heat 100% of their water. If solar water heating was used everywhere in the province of Quebec, we could save 60% of our total energy consumption. The money saved on all these reductions in energy use could've been spent on making hundreds of thousands of homes more energy efficient. Over 1.5 million homes and businesses in the US currently use solar water heating. It saves 40% of the usual American annual costs for water heating and would save between 50 and 85% of its costs if it were efficiently installed in Florida according to the Florida Solar Energy Center. The costs saved are based on no longer needing pumps, heat exchangers, heat transfer fluids, strainers, expansion tanks, back-flow preventers and all the issues surrounding traditional water heating like freezing, leaks, and noise as well as maintencance required to keep the system running. In Quebec, around 186 litres of hot water are used every day. Solar water heating would save 1432 kWh per year, which comes out to around 7.7 kWh per litre of daily used hot water.

It is clear that traditional water heating is in the past and it's time to change to solar water heating everywhere. There are no reasons to do otherwise. It's cheaper, is much more sustainable, and reduces our carbon footprint making it eco-friendly. The long term effect of our reductions of carbon dioxide will greatly help the planet and our problems with climate change and global warming. It's a system we should seriously start considering to greater extent in Quebec because of the amount of sun we get (we get just as much if not more sun per year than countries like Spain and Germany, the top sunlight receivers worldwide) and because of the fact that these systems actually work better the colder it gets outside.



"Seeking The Current"