Advantages of Solar Water Heater: Savings & Payback Time!
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The Sun is the largest and a never-ending source of energy. Solar energy is a form of renewable energy which is available in abundance in our environment. Using such conventional source of energy can reduce usage of fossil fuels and reduce harmful environmental emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.
There are numerous applications of solar energy. Solar water heater is one such appliance which uses the energy of Sun to heat the water. As the solar energy generated is a natural phenomenon and involves no cost, the energy/ heat generated is also free of cost except for the initial investment that we make on the purchase of Solar Water Heater and later on its repairs and maintenance.
What is a Solar Water Heater?
A solar water heater is a combination of three different components – a solar collector, an energy transfer system, and a storage tank. The main constituent of a solar water heater is the solar collector array, which absorbs solar radiation and converts it into heat. This heat is later absorbed by water that passes through the collector, and eventually water gets heated. Hot water is used for various domestic purposes like bathing, washing, cooking, etc.
The solar water heater is also known as domestic solar water heating system. It is usually installed on the roof or terrace of a house or any such open place where sufficient sunlight is available for the system.
Let us see benefits of solar water heaters.
What are the Advantages of a Solar Water Heater?
- A 100 litre system, which is appropriate for the average size of a 3 – 4 people household, can prevent emissions of 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Thus, by and large, it reduces the carbon footprint, saves natural resources and conserves the environment.
- Solar water heaters go beyond simple economics and offer long-term benefits. It reduces utility bills, protects against future fuel shortages and controls price rise.
- The initial price of the water heater is more than the other heaters i.e., Gas water heater, Electric water heater, etc., but after a few years you will realize that it comes along with many benefits. According to The National Renewable Energy Laboratory – NREL (It is a national laboratory of the S. Department of Energy), a Solar water heating system can save 50 % to 85 %of annually utility bills over the cost of electric water heating system.
Why Should I Install a Solar Water Heater?
Solar water heaters save both electricity and money. The electricity is becoming more expensive, a solar water heater is a great way to access 24/7 hot water at far cheaper rates. They are also safer than gas geysers and electric geysers as they are located on the roof.
Further, saving energy ultimately reduces carbon footprint and preserves natural resources and conserve the environment. Solar heaters operate with a fixed cost following installation. Free solar energy exempts you from price increase and fuel shortages.
Saving in India:
According to The Gujarat Energy Development Agency – GEDA (A Government of Gujarat Organization), A 100 litre per day capacity system suitable for 3-4 people can save up to 1500 units of electricity in a year. This comes roughly between Rs. 7500/- and 12000/- of saving per year in energy bill (considering the general cost of power in different Indian states), depending upon the utilization of hot water.
The table below gives an idea about likely electricity and money savings for a typical 100 litres per day system located in different parts of India. The figures are very general and can vary depending upon the local climate.
Also, it can save around 140 liters of diesel in an installation using oil fired boiler besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Higher capacity systems will save higher amount of electricity or fuel oil besides reducing the higher amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
Solar water heaters are suitable for places where electricity is expensive orin places which faces frequent power cuts. Solar Water Heater stores hot water in an insulated tank and provides water throughout the day whenever needed. Against that fuel oil is very expensive and in additional to that, it creates pollution. Storing fuel oil for a longer time, particularly used in any commercial establishments is another major problem.
Saving in the US:
Your savings will depend upon your geographical location. That is, it will depend on the state where you reside. Say for instance, if you are staying in Florida, then due to the plenteous availability of the sunshine in Florida, solar savings can be as high as 85 % of your energy used for domestic heating water. Now these results vary from place to place and depend entirely on the specific circumstances of your hot water consumption. For a customized solution, please contact the manufacturer who will guide you better based on your unique consumption/location.
Payback Period of Solar Water Heater: Recovery of Investment
In general, payback time tends to be shorter for gas i.e., propane and electricity-based hot water systems, and longer if you are relying on natural gas. Due to the magnitude of these factors of influence, it is impossible to offer one precise figure.
However, based on the experience we carry, we would say that the payback time varies somewhere between 3.5 years and 8 years for a solar hot water system with a designed life of over 30 years. For more accurate figure of the payback time, please contact some reputed manufacturers.
Summing up, With the ever-increasing global population, the consumption of significant sources of energy like coal, oil, natural gas, etc. are increasing day by day. But apart from their availability factor, one of the biggest disadvantages of fossil fuels is, they release greenhouse gases during combustion which are responsible for global warming and are harmful to the environment. Thus, it is obligatory to use naturally available renewable energy in the form of solar energy to replace fossil fuel.
Solar energy is not only a conventional energy resource but it is also an ‘easy to use’ renewable energy. Solar water heater generates hot water by using solar energy from the sun. Solar water heater provides not only hot water but it also essentially contributes towards protecting the environment. And above all, it is an efficient, cost-effective, and a wise investment that will save your energy and money for years together.