How Solar Hot Water Works [Video]

On average, about 18% of home energy consumption is for water heating, the second largest consumer behind space heating.  The primary technology used to do this is the tank-type water heater (both gas- and electric-powered), but solar water heating can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water. 

Solar hot water systems vary, and one system we’ve mentioned previously is a passive-pump system by Virginia-based Sunnovations.  This video explains it.

Sunnovations offers a system with less parts, less maintenance, and a one-day installation because it doesn’t have a pump, controller, wiring, or expansion tank.

Sunnovations uses a geyser pump, or bubble pump, that starts working as soon as fluid in the system warms.  The gravity-fed system naturally circulates water, so, as explained in the video, a homeowner may get warm water even if the power goes out.

[+] Learn more about solar hot water from Sunnovations.


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  • http://roofvents.com Irv

    Most houses here in Israel have solar water heaters on the roof of some type, either a tank or panels.

  • Dennis Duce

    Great video! this is a cool concept I would love to know more about how this works with out a pump. Solar thermal can also be used for building heat if the system is large enough. Check out this video on a system in Salt Lake City that helps heat a low income housing project. http://realgreenworld.tv/realgreenworld-gets-creative-with-sunlight-solar-at-artspace-commons/

    • http://twitter.com/RayCatLady ELo

      Artspace Commons actually isn’t a low-income housing project.  I believe it’s the only one of the Artspace communities that isn’t low-income.  One notable downfall I’ve noticed with the system used at Artspace as a resident for over a year is that if there is a power outage, we have no hot water for 24 hours.  I’m not sure how that works with a solar power system, but this has been the issue.  We’ve lost all of our hot water twice this week alone.  

  • http://www.solartronenergy.co.uk/solarbeam/ solar hot water

    Thanks for this post. I definitely agree
    with what you are saying. I have been talking about this subject a lot lately
    with my brother so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers
    crossed!

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