This is the first of a series of short video programs discussing solar water heating.
A solar water heating system uses the sun to heat water circulating through solar collectors, and this hot water is transferred to a solar storage tank. The water from the solar storage tank will preheat water for a traditional water heater. The warmer the water in the solar tank, the less conventional fuel will be needed to provide the household’s hot water needs.
On a cloudy day or in winter, your system will use any available sunshine to meet a portion of your total hot water needs and then provide the balance with the conventionally fueled water heater.
Commercial water heating
In a commercial application, many businesses have high and consistent hot water demands and solar hot water can provide a rapid return on investment. Solar also allows businesses to demonstrate their commitment to protecting Montana’s environment, and limit uncertainties about future fuel costs
Residential water heating
In a residential situation, making an up-front investment for a solar water system can help meet the needs of a growing family. A typical family of four will use as much as 29,200 gallons of hot water a year.
Generally speaking a solar hot water system will save you 60% to 70% on your annual water heating bills. That original 29200 gallons of hot water that you pay to heat each year reduced by that amount is a considerable yearly savings
Solar energy is clean energy — as clean as it gets! By tapping the heat of the sun we can lower our dependence on fossil fuels while putting people to work in our communities. We have the technology and the know-how to harness the free heat of the sun to get hot water, and we have a workforce that is ready to install these solar panels on roofs across the country.
In future programs, we’ll look at some specific installations and touch on some of the more technical issues involved in different types of solar water heating systems.