Getting The Most From The Sun
One of the least exploited areas of energy conservation in the world is the maximum deployment of home solar water heating systems for warm climate regions. In northern climates where winter weather brings very cold temperatures the solar water heating systems are sophisticated and somewhat costly, but in warm climates they are relatively cheap and straightforward. With today's rising energy costs and the need to reduce global pollution, installing a solar panel water heater on your house makes perfect sense when you live in a warm climate.
Regions like the southern United States and Southern Europe are attractive markets for huge growth in solar water heating systems. Warm climate solar water heating systems are relatively inexpensive to install, and the pay back on them can occur in as little as four to five years, based solely upon the cost of energy today. If you are utilising your existing hot water boiler and integrating the solar panel with it, the average installed costs are between $2000 to $4000 depending upon the volume of hot water you regularly use and also the relative intensity of the Sun in your area. You can even turn the boiler off if you want to just run on solar water heating alone.
Warm climate solar water heating systems are called Passive Systems, because they do not use pumps or require electricity, unlike the systems required for colder climates, where electricity is needed to circulate the heating fluid through the panel. On Passive Systems, the solar panel is mounted on your roof and connected to the cold water intake of your hot water system. Solar radiation heats up the water progressively and it then flows down from the roof into the hot water tank in your home. The relative simplicity and reduced cost of passive solar water heating systems is what makes them affordable and effective for warm climates.