Solar panels can contribute up to 80% of hot water costs during the summer months. Use of solar power can help to supply up to half of a typical household’s annual hot water requirements.
Solar panels are usually mounted on the roof and the radiation from the sun is used to heat a liquid. The panels should face due south at an angle of 30° to the horizontal.
When sunlight falls on a flat, matt black surface the energy is absorbed and the plate gets hot. If you put glazing over the panel and insulation behind, the plate gets hotter still. If water flows through pipes attached to the metal plate then the water will get hot.
Most systems use a small pump to circulate an anti-freeze solution, which transfers the heat to the hot water tank.
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