Passive Solar: Water Heating System

In the passive way of heating no external power is required to operate the fans, blowers, or pumps. The water movement is entirely dependent on the gravity and the solar form of energy. Today in market you will find two main types of passive solar water heating systems.

Integral Collector Storage Systems (ICS)

Integral Collector Storage Systems

This system is also called batch-collector system. Integral collector storage heaters are considered unique in a sense that water itself acts as a collector of the solar heat. Water is not passed through any separate collector for heating; it gets heated within the storage tank. ICS consist of a black tank or tubes covered by glazing. Black tank with the water stored absorbs the solar radiation. Thus the stored water gets heated up. As the water gets heated up it rises up to the top of storage tank. The hot water required is drawn off from the top level of the tank and for refilling the tank cool water enters and arrives at the bottom of storage tank.

Easy to build

ICS systems can be easily built, if homeowners try they can they can also built this solar hot water system. You should yourself try to make your own system to save your money. The storage tank for this system usually holds water up to thirty to fifty gallons; therefore the tank has huge weight. You will have to make arrangements for installation of this tank.

Warm climates – suitable for working of system

Integral collector storage systems work best in the warm climates. As the water itself is collector so the freezing can be major problem in the freezing climate temperatures. Availability of the sunlight is must for the working of this system. In the cooler months ICS is used for preheating water for the backup system.  This system ensures that your home is getting warm water throughout the year.

Thermosyphon Systems

Thermosyphon Systems

Integral collector storage and Thermosyphon Systems have many similarities between them. In both the systems heated water directly flow to the house for the usage. In the Thermosyphon Systems collector is used but unlike other systems collector is installed below the storage tank. In this regard the design of this system is considered unique. This system entirely relies on the propensity of the warm liquid to rise. During the flow water through the collectors the warm water raises in the storage tank and cool water sinks, the warm water is taken into the home.

System requires structural arrangements for installation

You have to make structural arrangements while installing this system. The tank must be installed above the collectors; mostly it is mounted on the top of the roof. To secure the roof you have to take measures because of the weight of the tank. Making these arrangements will add up to the cost of the system. Thermosyphon systems works better in warm and non freezing climate conditions and this system requires a backup system in cooler conditions. this system can be very effective when demand for hot water is small.


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