Hot water panels: how do they work?

Hot water panels: how do they work?

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If you have received a particularly high electricity or gas bill, it is possible that your thoughts may finally turn to hot water panels.

After all, who wouldn't want to have all the energy they need, directly from the Sun?

Millions of people have already made this choice across Europe, and many more are preparing to do so.

Better then try to understand what they are and how they work hot water panels, particular electric solar panels (also called solar cells or photovoltaic cells) which convert sunlight into electricity, and which can heat domestic hot water in their most common form, thermal solar panels.

Even in relatively cold climates, in fact, solar hot water systems can significantly reduce energy bills, satisfying up to 90 percent of your need for hot water and paying for themselves in about 10-15 years, thus being able to realize a truly long-lasting investment.

Read also: DIY biogas, how to make one at home?

How a solar heating system is made

The parts of a hot water solar thermal system are generally - for example - composed of the following elements:

  • collector: is the technical name of the large panel located on the roof. Smaller homes (or those in warmer climates) can get by with hot water panels much smaller than those in larger homes (or found in colder climates); typically the collectors vary in size from about 2 - 15 square meters. Unsurprisingly, collectors work most efficiently on roofs that have a direct, unblocked view of the sun (with few trees or buildings in between). Broadly speaking, there are two types of collectors known as flat, and with evacuation pipes.
  • flat collectors: they are the simplest collectors, with a glass that collects and traps heat (like in a greenhouse), and the water that flows through the pipes that collects and transfers to the hot water tank;
  • manifolds with evacuation pipes: they are a little more sophisticated than the previous ones. Completely empty, they collect and trap the heat of the sunlight. This flows to a collection device (collector) at the top (or at one end) through which water or another fluid flows, bringing the heat to the hot water tank. Unlike flat plate collectors, they don't let out as much heat, so they are more efficient. However, since they are a bit sophisticated, they are also more expensive;
  • hot water tank: there is no point in collecting heat from the roof if you don't have a place to store it! With a little luck, it is possible that your home already has a hot water tank that can be used to store the heat from the collector; it is a sort of "hot water" battery that heats up in conveniently economical times (usually at night) ready for use during the day. If you do not have a hot water accumulator, you need to have one installed. The more people there are in the house, the larger the tank you will need. A typical tank in a family home can be around 100 - 200 liters;
  • heat exchangerGenerally, solar panels work by transferring heat from the collector to the tank through a separate circuit and heat exchanger. The heat collected by the panel heats the water (or oil or another fluid) flows through a circuit of pipes in a copper coil inside the hot water tank. The heat is then passed into the hot water tank, and the cooled water (or fluid) returns to the collector to collect more heat. Obviously, the water in the collector never drains into the tank;
  • pump: the water does not flow by itself between the collector and the tank, but a small electric pump is required to circulate it. If you use ordinary electricity to run the water, the energy consumed by the pump will offset some of the benefits of using solar-thermal energy, reduce the gains you are making and lengthen the payback time of your investment. . Cleverly, some solar thermal systems use electric (photovoltaic) solar pumps instead, which means they run entirely on renewable energy. A positive aspect of a project like this is that the solar pump will be more active on sunny days (when most of the hot water is produced) and less active on cold and boring days (when, perhaps, you don't want it to be). the solar panel works at all);
  • system control: if we are in the middle of winter and the roof is freezing, the last thing we would like to do is transfer the freezing cold water to the hot water tank! Therefore, usually these systems also have a control system connected to a solar - thermal panel with a valve that can turn off the water circuit in case of cold. A typical control system may incorporate some or all of the following: a pump, a flow meter, a pressure gauge, a thermometer (so you can see how hot the water is), and a thermostat (to turn the pump off if the water is gets too hot).

So far, we have been able to summarize a simple composition and operating scheme of a system with hot water panels.

Of course, if you want to know more, all you have to do is talk to an expert installer, who can certainly advise you what to do for your specific case, identifying the system that will best meet your energy needs.

Video: Το πιό οικονομικό σύστημα παραγωγής Ζεστού Νερού Χρήσης. (June 2022).


  1. Grayson

    Frankly speaking, you are all right.

  2. Yotaxe

    To merge. I agree with all of the above-said. We can talk about this topic. Here, or in the afternoon.

  3. Tushura

    Sorry for my interfering ... I understand that question. We will consider.

  4. Goltigul

    We are waiting for the continuation. Of course, rather exaggerated, however, personal experience shows something close to what is described.

  5. Amare

    RUBBISH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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