Many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce energy costs. Using solar energy to power a residential solar hot water system is one way to do this.
In a residential solar hot water system, solar panels, usually called solar thermal panels, collect and absorb radiation from the sun rays. Heated water from the solar panels is sent to the water supply of the home. The hot water is kept in an insulated storage tank and is ready for use. This is called an open solar hot water system. In the case of a closed solar hot water system, a glycol mixture from the solar panels is sent to a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat to the water supply.
The equipment used in a residential solar hot water system usually consists of solar panels, a water storage tank, a pump and automatic controls. Two to four solar panels would usually be required.
Since solar panels are up to 70% efficient and can supply up to 80% of a home’s hot water usage, most homes equipped with a residential solar hot water system will have significantly reduced energy costs.
The estimated cost of a residential solar hot water system for a typical single family home would be between $4,000 and $8,000. The average energy cost savings would be approximately $500 to $600 a year. After approximately 7 years the total energy cost savings will have paid for the residential solar hot water system.
Additionally, the cost of a residential solar hot water system may be reduced by federal tax credits and state tax incentives.