FAQ

  1. What are the benefits of using solar energy for water heating?
     
  2. How much solar radiation do we normally receive?
     
  3. What is the most important component of a solar water heating system?
     
  4. Can a solar water heater completely replace an electric or gas water heater?
     
  5. Is solar power more expensive than conventional power?
     
  6. Is solar water heating a popular renewable energy application worldwide?
1) What are the benefits of using solar energy for water heating?
Ans: The most important benefit is that the fuel is free! Once the initial cost of a solar system is recovered through reduced or avoided energy costs, the solar system will require expenditures for maintenance only. Furthermore, solar water heaters and other solar technologies do not create environmental pollution. They do not add to the carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other air pollutants and wastes produced by the conventional power plants or gas plants.
   
2) How much solar radiation do we normally receive?
Ans: Solar radiation arrives on the surface of the Earth at a maximum power density of approximately 1 kilowatt per square metre. The actual usable radiation component varies depending on time of the year, cloud cover, etc. Solar radiation arrives at the Earth's outer atmosphere in the form of a direct beam. This light is then partially scattered by cloud, smog, dust or other atmospheric phenomenon. We therefore receive solar radiation either as direct radiation or scattered or diffuse radiation, the ratio depending on the atmospheric conditions.
   
3) What is the most important component of a solar water heating system?
Ans: Every solar water-heating system features a solar collector that faces the sun to absorb the sun's heat energy. This collector can either heat water directly or heat a "working fluid" that is then used to heat the water.
   
4) Can a solar water heater completely replace an electric or gas water heater?
Ans: Not completely. Electric or gas water heaters are still necessary to supplement the output of the solar collectors because solar radiation fluctuates from time to time in the course of a year. However, use of solar water heaters can reduce the electricity or gas consumption for water heating purpose.
   
5) Is solar power more expensive than conventional power?
Ans: Yes and no. Solar water heating requires a large initial cost, implying "paying upfront" for many years of energy. Once the system has "paid for itself", the energy you gain from the system is almost free.
   
6) Is solar water heating a popular renewable energy application worldwide?
Ans: Solar water heating is the most common solar energy technology. Hundreds of thousands of domestic solar water heating systems are in use throughout the world, especially in areas such as Mediterranean and Australia where there is high solar radiation, and also in the Mainland as well.
   
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