Introduction to Solar Water Heating Systems
There are several different types of solar water heating system, each designed for different climates and different types of operation to perfectly meet the needs of your budget, location, and application.
These systems may be identical to each other except for inclusion or removal of one part, while they may also be completely different except for the inclusion of solar collectors and heat transfer elements.
There are two major concepts to understand when comparing the different types of Solar Water Heating Systems:
1. The difference between open-loop and closed-loop systems.
2.The difference between passive and active systems.
A system in which the domestic hot water, which comes directly out of the showerheads and sink faucets, is itself directly heated in the solar collector.
A system in which a heat transfer fluid is heated by the collector, and the heat is passed to the domestic water through a heat exchanger.
Uses no mechanical parts to circulate the water through the heating system.
Uses moving parts such as pumps, valves or controls to circulate water through the heating system.
There are 5 main type of solar system setups used in today's market.
Closed Loop Drainback
Basic Collector Loop
In the UK an Active, closed-loop system (pressurized Glycol) is used. This is often referred to as "the cold climate system".