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New Homeowners’ Guide to Solar Water Heating:

Purchasing property is a huge decision, almost as a huge as deciding to be environmentally conscious and implement energy saving measures. Solar water heating is a energy saving measure often overlooked , but  a correctly sized solar water heating system can provide up to a 70% savings on household domestic hot water energy demand. But what does this solar water heating system do? How does it work? What are the components that should be present? 

A solar water heating system features different components  with different life expectancies. These components range from the solar water heating collector, to the storage tank, glycol (heat transfer fluid) to the pipe insulation .  You can expect a SunEarth Solar Water Heating System to last  20+ years, with the solar storage tanks lasting  6 to 12 years depending on make and the model. Other major system components to look for in your system are the  racking and mounting equipment, differential controller,  expansion and /or drainback reservoir, pressure/temperature relief valves, and shutoff/drain valves, 

What Should be listed on my Home Inspection Report?

  1. The solar thermal collector:

The collector box should be completely intact with no visible signs of damage or deformation. The glass must be free of any condensation and clear to ensure maximum solar absorption. The collector header and absorber plate should be free of any signs of rusting or corrosion. The area around the collector and all the connection to/from the collector must be inspected for any possible leaks A qualified solar thermal installer can look over your system to ensure all components are in proper condition. Not sure who to contact, reach out to SunEarth and we will put you in touch with a certified installer in your area. Additional information can be located in the system manuals available at www.sunearthinc.com

 

*An O&M survey of 185 “Solar Thermal Water Heating Systems” has shown that, In the total of 65 disabled system, 70% were out of commission due to a “Temperature Sensor Mounting” failures, 90% of which could be repaired at the cost of less than 500$.  

 2. The Solar storage tank:

Look at the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank, it should be free of sediment and show no signs of rust. The anode rod, and pressure & temperature relief valves should also be inspected to ensure proper working order. A qualified solar thermal installer can look over your system to ensure all components are in proper condition. Not sure who to contact, reach out to SunEarth and we will put you in touch with a certified installer in your area. Additional information can be located in the system manuals available at www.sunearthinc.com 

 3. Differential controller:

SunEarth controls are distinguished by their technical sophistication, functionality, simplicity and competitive pricing. All SunEarth controls are listed by ETL, a nationally recognized testing laboratory.

SunEarth controls are menu-driven and include a large LCD that provides the homeowner or commercial user with a variety of real time information about system operation. The differential controllers should not be displaying any alarms or warnings which could include but it is not limited to flashing red lights, flashing LCD screen, etc. The controller’s power supply must also be in accordance with the manufacturer’s manual and the local building code.

A qualified solar thermal installer can look over your system to ensure all components are in proper condition. Not sure who to contact, reach out to SunEarth and we will put you in touch with a certified installer in your area. Additional information can be located in the system manuals available at www.sunearthinc.com

 * Solar Energy Technologies and Project Delivery textbook by Andy Walker (Wiley Publication-2013)

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