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Solar Water Heating

Table of Contents

The Roof
Utility Room or Basement
Detailed Specifications
How It Works
Typical Savings
Case Study
The Inventor
Our Supplier
 

This page is about solar water heating.  You can also get solar to make electricity using Solar PV panels.

The Roof

Solar water heating collectors are installed on the roof.  This picture shows two panels, side by side, which would be the typical installation.

Depending on your personal needs, you can get 1, or 2, or 3, or 4 solar water heating collectors installed.

Solar water heating is perfect for use with radiant floor heating systems.

Roof mounted solar water heating collectors

Utility Room or Basement

Using a standard water heater tank, the solar water system is tied into the tank at the top and bottom.

Inside the small box in front of the storage tank (the "Energy Pack") is a recirculating pump, heat exchanger, expansion tank, and the control panel (see pictures at right).

Enerworks has a CSA Certificate of Compliance (Cert# 1721596) pertaining to Class 2831 06 HEATERS.  This is a Solar Plus Supplemental Domestic Hot Water Add-on package system, to be used with a CSA-approved water tank, with indirect Forced Circulation, model EWRA that consists of up to a maximum 4 Solar collectors (Model COL-4X8-TL-SG1-SD10) and 1 model Energy Pack controller heat exchanger.

The Energy Pack is rated at 120Vac, 0.25 Amps, 30 Watts, 1ph, 60Hz, 50 PSI max for the recirculating pump at 1.2 L/m flow rate on the solar loop side (closed system of propylene glycol + distilled water, 50/50 mix), 150 PSI max on the potable water side. Equivalent energy contribution with a simulated load (hot water consumption) of 300L/d at 55C or less.

The solar water heating system is in addition to your current water heating system.  On cloudy days, or in -30C weather, you will need a supplemental water heating system.  The solar system should provide you about 50% of the total water heating energy consumption.  As the solar heat is free, this should cut your water heating bill in half.

Solar hot water storage & Solar Energy PackSolar Energy Pack

Installed in a home basement                                    Free-standing unit showing connections

A close up of the control and data display panel on the solar water heater system.

Here you can monitor the system's operation, the energy saved, and control its operations.

Solar water heating controller

Detailed Specifications

The technical details can be found on the following pdf file:

Detailed Specification Sheet for 2-collector System
 

How It Works

Solar panels "A" (between 1 to 4 panels, depending upon your needs) are placed on the roof (or beside the house), where they are exposed to the sun.

The closed loop fluid is 50% US Food & Drug Administration approved food-grade propylene glycol (same as used in ice cream, muffins, cake mixes, etc.) and 50% distilled water.

This fluid goes around and around in a closed loop, heated by the solar panel "A", then pumped back through the heat exchanger in the Energy Pack "B", then back to the solar collector.

This closed loop circulating system transports the heat from the roof-top solar collector, and carries it to the hot water storage tank.

Schematic of Solar Water heating System, New & Existing

The Energy Pack "B" contains a small gear pump, a stainless steel flat plate heat exchanger, an expansion tank, temperature sensors, and a micro-processor controller to run the system.

When you use hot water, the cold water from your well or town water supply enters the Energy Pack "B", and gets heated by the hot propylene glycol solution via the heat exchanger. This flows through your Solar Storage Tank "C", then through your current water heating tank "D", then to the appliance using the hot water (eg. shower, bath, dishwasher, clothes washer, etc.).

If you are not using hot water right now, then water from the solar water heated storage tank is naturally re-circulated through the heat exchanger (thermo siphon), heating it up, slowly increasing the storage water tank temperature all day long.  When you need the hot water, it's already heated and ready to go.

If the solar water heating system pre-heats the water, your existing water heater may not have to turn on because the water is already hot enough from the sun.  If the sun has only partially heated the water supply (eg. a cloudy day), your current water heater only has a partial job to do, saving you part of the heating expense.

The Inventor

Inventor of EnerWorks Solar Water heating technology
Photo: M Lea/Whig-Standard

From http://www.parteqinnovations.com/randi-invgall-harrison.html

Generating innovations in solar technology

For nearly 20 years Dr. Stephen Harrison has been exploring alternative energy solutions to reduce the environmental impact of conventional energy sources. His patented innovations in solar hot water technology resulted in the development of a solar domestic hot water heater product now being sold on the North American market by EnerWorks Inc. of London, ON.

The EnerWorks technology is currently saving a Queen's University student residence thousands $ in utility costs. "Installing solar power allowed the removal of one of two electric hot water tanks and helped reduce our electricity bill in the house by 25 per cent," says Brent Bellamy, General Manager of the Science '44 Co-operative Student Housing. 

The company's product also supplies hot water to North America's first large-scale, solar-based district heating project in a 52-home development near Calgary, Alberta, and last August EnerWorks completed the first commercial installation of its product at the Confederation Place Hotel in Kingston, ON.

EnerWorks, Inc.
 

Our Supplier

PS' preferred supplier for solar water heating is Enerworks, in Dorchester Ontario (near London ON).

Enerworks solar systems are certified by CSA, and manufactured to ISO 9001:2000 quality assurance standards.

For more information on these solar water heating systems, see Enerwork's Website, or view the photos above..

Expected Savings

The solar water heater is expected to save you money, and save the planet by reducing the GHG (Green House Gas) emissions.  For more info, see:   Savings

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Page Last Modified:   04-May-2009 05:45:36 PM -0500