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Solar water heating observations

 
Posts: 15
Location: Devon UK
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Just a thought for those thinking about installing solar water heaters in temperate/northern climes. Even when the sun is not obviously shining, solar collectors are still absorbing radiation. This may (on cloudy/cold days) be only sufficient to pre-heat water, BUT, this is still worthwhile in that pre-heating water reduces energy consumption costs considerably.My costing figures for the 2012 weather washout in the UK show my solar installation as an efficient investment. If I was solely relying on conventional heating sources, the 2012 costs could have been eye-watering.

When people/neighbours question me about my use of alternative energy generation sources, I always tell them that the primary installation of a solar water heating array was my best decision for seeing a tangible return on investment; combined with reducing carbon footprint. Heating water is an expensive business, and the solar array has reduced costs (& carbon) considerably.

PV panels have been installed secondarily as an offset for electrical energy consumption. Next thing will be a wind generator, possibly.

However, if a person has only one choice for reducing energy consumption & carbon footprint, I would suggest that the solar water heating array is the primary choice. Other technologies can be added later.

Forgive me if this is too simplistic and obvious.
 
pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
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Agreed. I'm installing a system this spring. Thanks Nick and Welcome to Permies.
 
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Location: Amherst, Wisconsin
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Nick,

I couldn't have said it better.

Bob
 
pollinator
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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All my neighbors have PV (I am on grid but just at the limit!) and they all have problems with the battery costs and recycling.
Heating water should be the first solar device to be used!
 
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