Solar Water Heating Systems

About Solar Water Heating

Using energy from the sun to heat water is not new. Today, several million homes and businesses use solar water heating systems. You to can join the millions who are using a cost-effective and reliable choice for hot water. An initial investment in solar water heating systems range between $1,000 – $3,000 depending on your hot water requirements. This initial investment is higher than regular electric or gas water heaters but the cost of the solar water heating system is lower in the long run since your system will use an energy source that is free.
solar water storage tank

Sun Ray Solar Water Heaters

The Model Sun-Ray WH-1 is an active, direct system. This system uses potable water in the solar collector and it is open to the city pressures. This system averages greater efficiency, but requires some attention during freezing weather conditions. The WH-1 is designed for installation in areas where the air temperature falling below 41° F does not occur more than 3 to 4 times annually and this low temperature does not exceed an 8-hour duration.

How does the WH-1 system work?

When solar energy is available, a small automatically controlled pump circulates heated water from the solar collectors threw a storage tank to reach the desired temperature (130F to 180F) When hot water is being used preheated water from the solar storage tank flows into your water heater and therefore the heating element in your water heater does not turn on, which saves you money and energy. Your water heater becomes a backup for those few sunless days.

System Sizing

Solar water heating systems are design to provide 60% to 80% of hot water demand year around. In order to determine the proper size of your solar heating system you must first estimate your daily demand of hot water, which your system must meet. Hot water demand varies with each individual living habit, but 15-20 gallon per person per day is a conservative estimate.

Once daily hot water demand is calculated the total Sq/Ft. of the solar collectors can be determined by your geographical location and the panels orientation to the sun. Since Sun-Ray Solar collectors are highly efficient, one square foot of collector will heat up to 2 gallons of water in the sun belt area. (See WH-1 System selection)

System Maintenance

Sun Ray Solar water heating systems require relatively little attention. But, as with any mechanical system, some basic maintenance is essential to keep the system functioning smoothly.

The maintenance requirements of Sun-Ray Solar water heating system are similar to those of conventional water heaters. The collectors, piping and storage tank should be checked for leaks, the system should be flushed periodically to remove tank and collected impurities (scaling in hard water areas). The systems should be checked at least twice per year for a proper operation of the pump, controller and sensors. The collector’s glass can be rinsed periodically to remove dust collected in order to improve collector efficiency.

Using the Basic Components, Sun Ray professionals can design and size a system to meet your requirements.

water heating installation

Collectors tilt and orientation

The ideal orientation of Sun-Ray Solar collectors are directly south and tilted to the degree of your local latitude, but any direction within 90(degrees) from south is acceptable if the total degree of tilt + the orientation angle from due south is less then 130 (degrees).

WH-1 Major System Components

The basic components of Sun Ray Solar water heating systems are:

-Sun Ray Solar collectors
-Solar water storage tank
-Automatic controller
-Low power circulation pump

The Collectors

Sun Ray’s new generation of Solar Collectors; are simple efficient, durable and economical. Sun Ray collectors are available with our unique highly efficient all copper or copper aluminum absorbers. The collector frame and glazing cup are constructed with 25 ga. corrosion resistant galvanized steel. The cover plate is 3/16″ clear tempered glass sealed to the frame with a rubber gasket. A 1″ Poly-isocyanurate insulation bored with perforated heavy aluminum foil backing. The collector Weight is approximately 4.5 lb/sq./ft.

Storage Tank

The storage tank has a glass lining and an anode rod for maximum corrosion protection. Its internal manifold provides even distribution of heat, an injected foam insulation minimizes heat loss. The tank is available with or without an element. (UL Listed, 5-year warranty. Locally manufactured)

Solar System Controller

The controller is a differential temperature thermostat designed specifically to regulate a solar system operation. Its basic function is to monitor collector and storage temperatures and to automatically turn a small circulator ON or OFF at the appropriate temperature differentials. The controller can also provide additional functions, such as: system freeze protection (drain down drain back or circulation), storage tank high limit and positive OFF when the collector is below 80(degrees) F. (UL Listed. 5 year warranty. Locally manufactured.) Circulation Pump

All vital components are fabricated from corrosion-resistant, high-grade stainless steel. This quiet, self-lubricating circulator is maintenance free, and requires very little energy to operate.
(UL Listed. 18-month warranty. Locally manufactured)

Click here for installation instructions

Freeze protection

When the water in the collector reaches a temperature near freezing, the system’s one of three freeze protection mechanisms will protect it as followed:
(A) The controller turns the pump on and off periodically to warm the collector with water from the storage tank.
(B) A flush-type freeze protection valve installed near the collectors opens to let warm water flow through the collector.
(C) For a longer freeze duration or if a power failure and freeze condition occurs at the same time the collector must be manually drained.