Possible Disadvantages of Solar Water Heating

Posted by on Jan 11, 2014 in Alternative Water Heating, Water Heater Repair

When a solar water heater is discussed, some people might imagine a hot water tank or pool heater, however it is in fact a way to warm a house efficiently and comfortably using water and solar energy. As all of us know, the rising expense of house heating by standard techniques has numerous looking for alternative ways to keep their residences relaxing throughout the winter months. Solar energy is just among a number of alternative energies that is being took a look at by today’s cost conscience property owner that we wish to talk about today.  The ideas here are for heating a home and is the first of a series of posts we will have on using solar for home heating as well as water heating.

Using Solar Hot Water for Heating Your St Louis HomeSt Louis solar water heater

Solar water heaters can work in conjunction with a hydronic house heating system. The essentials are water is warmed by a boiler is run with a series of pipes and valves below the floor of a house. Taking complete advantage of radiant heat, this system can keep a house warmer than an air-forced system and around 40 % in energy expenses can be saved if it is run with gas or electric. If you choose to operate your boiler making use of solar energy, operating expenses can effectively be no.

The concept of have a water heater system that does not cost anything to run sound incredible however let us initially take an appearance at some of the disadvantages to make sure it will be a great suitable for your house. We want you to be knowledgeable about both the advantages and drawbacks prior to deciding.

Downsides of Solar Water Heating

One of the major drawbacks of solar water heating is the preliminary installment expenses. Relying on the size of the house, several solar collection panels will have to be installed which can get expensive, though the overall costs of panels has actually dropped considerably over the past numerous years. However with a life expectancy of as much as 20 years, solar panels more than pay for themselves in energy savings. In truth, they can spend for themselves in as low as three years. So one has to ask if the initial investment will worth the future energy saving expenses. As an example, if one isn’t really going to be living in ones existing house for many years, it might not be worth the financial investment, unless by having the system will add to the value of the house in a sale.

An additional concern is the installment of a hydronic system. If one currently has actually one installed in the house updating to a solar system will not be hard. If one is not installed currently, it would best be saved until a remodel or addition to the house is planned for the sub floor of the house will need to be modified.

The City of Palo Alto has a nice chart of the advantages and disadvantages here.

Since the sun doesn’t shine everyday, solar power, which depends on this sun obviously, can be unpredictable. Granted, your solar water heater will be able to keep energy to be made use of on cloudy days but you might still need to operate a backup heating system from time to time. The technology for solar energy storage is still be worked on so homeowners can cheaply save the energy produced.

Some mention solar power’s inefficiency as a dis advantage too, but it might just be a trade off:

“Solar inefficiency is an interesting argument, as efficiency is relative. One could ask “inefficient compared to what?” And “What determines efficiency?” Solar panels currently only have a radiation efficiency of up to 22%, however they don’t create the carbon by-product that coal produces and doesn’t require constant extraction, refinement, and transportation – all of which surely carry weight on efficiency scales. Since the sun doesn’t shine daily, solar energy, which counts on this sun obviously, can be unpredictable. Granted, your solar water heater will be able to save energy to be made use of on cloudy days however you could still need to run a backup heater from time to time. The technology of solar energy storage is still be worked on so homeowners can cheaply save the energy produced.”  (read more…)

Bear in mind that these downsides need to not prevent one from seeking a solar power source to heat the house but are indicated just to help in making a wise choice. Heating a house with solar power is a wonderful way to conserve a great deal of cash and Earth’s natural resources.

We will be adding an article on the advantages of solar water heating soon!