Already on ArticleSlash?

Forgot your password? Sign Up

Solar Water Heaters - Active Systems Can Supplement Standard Water Heaters


Visitors: 173
 1 vote

List of Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heater systems are designed to be active, with pumps or fans to promote the gathering of heat, or passive, with no mechanical parts added to the system. Solar water heaters have been around since the late 1800's. Standard natural gas water heaters took their place in the early 1900's. For the last four decades, newer technologies have fixed many problems with solar water heaters. Difficulties such as oxidation, rusting, and inadequate amounts of hot water are not problems any more.

The difference between the different kinds of active solar water heaters is the way the heat collector protects itself against cold conditions. These systems are called: Recirculate, drain-down, drain-back, and heat exchange.

The recirculate system

This system uses an electrical pump to move water through the collector to prevent it from freezing. Moving water will not freeze, but some heat is sacrificed to do this.

The drain-down system

This system simply takes the water out of the collector by opening a valve when a thermostat indicates that the water is near freezing. If electricity is down, then the collector empties all water.

The drain-back system

This system uses a heat exchanger to store drained water from the collector when it nears freezing. Heat exchangers work with a storage tank and push water to your original water heater. The drain-back system has an electrical pump that works most of the time. If the pump is not working, the heat exchanger stores warm water from the collector and uses this water itself as the heating fluid to heat the water. The heat exchanger can lose up to 10% of its heating efficiency.

The heat exchange system

This system is the only system which does not drain out any water from the collector when it nears freezing. The heat exchanger uses an oily fluid that prevents freezing to travel to the collector and keep the water warm. Some of these systems use compressed air to heat the water instead of an oily fluid.

All active solar water heater systems have pumps and fans working to keep them heating and moving water. These systems need maintenance on a regular basis. All solar water heater systems should be installed so that they can be bypassed when they aren't needed by your regular water heater.

Visit or contact for more information on solar water heaters, tankless water heaters, traditional tank-type water heaters, water heater repair, new installation, brand name information, maintenance, and warranty info.


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Another 7 maintenance Tips for Water Heaters
Rated 1.0 / 5
based on 1 vote

Related Articles:

Solar Water Heaters

by: Shweta Rai (June 25, 2008) 
(Home Improvement/Energy Efficiency)

Solar Water Heaters

by: Simone Jennings (July 02, 2011) 
(Reference and Education/Science)

How to choose the best solar water heaters?

by: Gerrick Breath (January 10, 2012) 
(Business/Customer Service)

Types of Solar Water Heaters

by: Yoni Levy (September 28, 2010) 
(Home Improvement/DIY)

Solar Water Heaters and Eligible Tax Credits and Rebates

by: Joseph Abrams (August 21, 2008) 

Water Heaters

by: Carolyn Clayton (June 15, 2007) 
(Business/Industrial Mechanical)

Why Tankless Water Heaters Are The Best

by: Richard Runion (February 26, 2008) 
(Home Improvement/Bath and Shower)

A Look At Lochinvar Water Heaters

by: Niklas Johansen (December 20, 2011) 
(Home Improvement/Plumbing)

Water Heaters – The facts you must know!

by: Dale Howe (September 14, 2011) 
(Home Improvement)

Another 7 maintenance Tips for Water Heaters

by: John Haynes (January 21, 2007) 
(Home and Family)