Solar water heating systems – Advantages and disadvantages

The main difference between solar panels and solar water heating systems is that solar panels use solar energy to generate electricity while on the other hand solar water heating systems use solar energy to deliver hot water. Solar water heating systems are becoming increasingly popular clean energy option worldwide so let us talk about the most important advantages and disadvantages of using solar water heating systems.

Solar water heating systems advantages:
– These systems use solar energy which is a free and renewable source of energy (free because nobody owns the Sun and renewable because solar energy cannot be depleted like this is the case with fossil fuels for as long as our Sun keeps on shining.

– These systems use solar energy which help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, improving our energy security and energy independence in the process by reducing the need for expensive foreign fuel import.

– In sunny and warm places with high insolation values solar water heating systems are very cost effective.

– Many countries around the world offer favorable incentives for the installation of solar water heating systems.

– Relatively good payback period, in average between 5-10 years

– These systems have low maintenance costs.

– You can build your own solar water heating systems (you can find the charts on how to build them on web).
– Some countries even offer the option of leasing solar water heating systems which can significantly decrease initial costs.

Solar water heating systems disadvantages: 

– The main disadvantage of solar water heating systems is relatively high upfront costs.

– In most areas they will require electrical or gas or other fuel backup during the winter period.

– Payback times can vary greatly mostly due to regional sun (the more insolation, the shorter payback period).

– Relatively low efficiency of passive solar water heating systems.

– They require excellent overheating and freeze protection.