How many times have you cringed at your gas or electricity bill? It can be especially prevalent if you are running a hot tub or in-ground pool, have a business or even teenagers constantly showering. Imagine the possibilities of switching to rooftop solar panels for hot water savings. Utilizing the resourceful heat from the sun can help you cut down on a variety of home and business related costs. If you are considering installing solar photovoltaic cells (PV) to convert sunlight into electricity, Claw Roofing in Calgary can help you ensure the integrity of your roof is ready to handle your new upgrade.
Rooftop Solar Thermal Panels
Did you know that common systems are capable of generating ten to ninety percent of your hot water? Within a decade to fifteen years and possibly sooner depending on the application, your panels will have paid for themselves. Residential and commercial clients who are switching to solar power to heat their swimming pool can even realize their savings sooner! Keep reading to discover how this technology works.
Solar Thermal Hot Water System For Your Roof
There are some main components you will need to install and understand in order to maximize your solar heating options. The main parts for this system include:
Flat-Plate Collectors: A flat plate collector refers to the large, black panel that sits on your roof. The size of your roof and your heating requirements will be factored in when choosing the right collector. Typically, these units range in size between two to fifteen square meters. The more direct access you and view you have of the sun, the better it will work. Even though flat-plate collectors are the most basic, they are the most common option. These are constructed from water pipes situated in shallow metal boxes that have thick black glass installed on top. Similar to a greenhouse, the glass traps the heat and the water flowing through the pipes absorbs the heat as it transfers to your hot water tank.
Evacuated Tube Collectors: There are also more sophisticated collector models known as evacuated tubes. This version resembles thick fluorescent strip lights and works similar to vacuum flasks. They are empty units that collect and trap sunlight heat, enabling it to flow to another collecting component known as a manifold. Water flow to the hot water tank in a more efficient manner compared to flat-plate collectors which can create more heat escape. These units are typically more costly due to their high-tech design.
Hot Water Tank
Hot water tanks that hold thirty to sixty gallons are common for average families. The hot water tank stores the heat from your collector and can be used to generate hot water when needed. Many units are designed to maximize efficiency and heat the water at night so that is ready to go for busy daytime usage. The more people in your home or business, the larger hot water tank you will require. It is essential to forecast future family and business growth during replacement or installation of hot water tanks to ensure you can avoid expensive upgrades in the future.
Heat Exchanger Unit
While it may seem initially that the heated water from your roof is the same hot water that flows through your taps, this is not the case. A separate circuit and heat exchanger enables the solar panels to transfer heat from the collector to the tank. Relying on a series of pipes, the water is passed through a copper coil within your hot water tank. The cooled water (or fluid, some units use oil or something different than water) then returns to the collector to gather more heat and the cycle continues.
Pump – Electric or Photovoltaic
The water needs a pump to make it circulate from the collector and the tank. If you rely on an electric model, you may unintentionally offset some of your solar gains and your payback time will be longer compared to starting out with solar-electric or photovoltaic (PV) pumps instead.
Solar Control Mechanism Components
To protect your system during frigid Calgary winters and to prevent transferring icy water into your hot water tank, there is a control system. This uses a valve to attach to the solar-thermal panel to allow you to turn off the circuit in cold weather. Control systems may include a flowmeter, pump, thermometer, thermostat and pressure gauge.
Call Claw Before You Install Anything On Your Roof
Avoid unwanted costs and potential damage to your building by having Claw Roofing conduct a thorough roof inspection ahead of time. There will be holes cut into your flat roofing or shingles to install the collector and subsequent parts. It is vital to make sure that your roofing components are in excellent shape to handle your new technology. Alternatively, if you have already installed your unit, feel free to book a roofing inspection to determine if all components have been adequately sealed and installed safely and securely. Spending thousands of dollars on a new solar panel hot water installation system is only possible if the integrity of your roof is intact prior to installation.
Avoid any roof replacement and repair by calling our professional and reliable team first! We can help you navigate how and where to optimize your rooftop solar panel hot water installation. Enjoy the possibilities of going green sooner than you think! Contact us today for more information on your rooftop solar installation!