Heating Your Water With Solar Energy
Solar Panels have been around for a lot longer than most people realize. They are not technology from the 70’s, or 80’s that some people think it is. The first solar panels were devised in the late 1950’s and were used on the first satellites entering space. These were very crude and inefficient, and efficiency has been the major reason that solar power has not taken off sooner. The technology has been vastly improved though making Solar more efficient and a very clean power source. There are all types of systems that you can get, and much of it will be dictated by where you live and the climate that you live in. Whether you look to just heat your hot water throughout the year or you wish to remove your house from the electric grid if you have the space and money to invest, anything is possible with solar power now days.
The best climate
As solar power relies on the rays from the sun, you will need to live in an area which receives plenty of sun throughout the day and all year long if you want to make a significant reduction in what you spend on power. A good climate is Australia as they get long sunny days with clear sky as well. A solar panel will work in cloudier conditions, but you will find it is much less efficient than when the sun is shining unobstructed onto the solar panels. Some rain in the climate is good for solar panels as it gives them a clean and washes the dust away, improving efficiency. You do not have to live in the middle of a desert though to get good conversion of the sun’s rays. Anywhere where you can get a prolonged direct line of sight with the sun can be good. You can even get arrays which will move with the sun to make sure that the panels are as effective as possible. When you install a static system where the panels cannot move, you will have to aim them so that they point at the sun when it is at its strongest so that you get the maximum amount of power converted.
Heating the water
If you are not looking to turn all of your power needs to solar then you will get away with less efficient systems and set ups if you are looking to just heat your hot water say. There are plenty of systems which will be easily installed on the roof of your house, being very discreet and hardly noticeable. The power generated from these can then be used to heat a hot water tank which can supply all of your needs quite sufficiently during the summer months and less cold periods. During the colder parts of the year, you may still need to use an immersion heater or boiler to top up your tank. Overall though you can save quite a bit of money each year in reducing the electricity you use, through the use of solar panels.
Installing a system
It is not quite as easy as getting on the internet and searching for wholesale solar panels as there are plenty of companies you can purchase from on the internet, but you need to make sure you are getting what it correct for your situation. Consulting a local specialist will enable you to find the system which will suit you the most. If you are not qualified yourself, then you will need to get a qualified electrician in to do the electrics any way. Most systems are pretty quick and easy to install, so a specialist will have it up and running in no time at all. The system will require very little maintenance other than a quick clean with some water once in a while and making sure the panels are not obstructed by trees and leaves. The great thing is that you are not only saving yourself some money, but you are also reducing your carbon footprint and our reliance on fossil fuels. If you set a good example you may start a trend in your local neighborhood and together we can all have a real impact on our environment.