Have you ever wondered how much energy is used in our everyday lives just to heat up water? Whether you’re just taking a shower, washing dishes, cooking, heating your house or workspace or running a car wash, using hot water is a necessity. Using conventional energy sources like oil, gas or electricity is an ever-increasing cost to generate its supply. If you consider the environmental impact of using non-renewable fuels it becomes not only a financial burden, but is also harmful to our planet.
All that sacrifice while in fact we have a free, environmentally friendly and, given it’s life expectancy, essentially unlimited source of energy - the Sun. All we need to utilize it for our benefit is a way to collect its radiation and convert it into thermal energy required in our day-to-day lives. That’s where solar heating systems come into play. Their operating principle is basically very simple. Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, usually fitted on the roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water stored in a hot water cylinder, which in turn can be supplied to a central heating system.
If your business or household uses a large amount of hot water then you may stand to gain from having a solar thermal system installed. These systems would be suitable for businesses across a variety of sectors including agriculture, hospitality and leisure as well as being an ideal technology for new built properties. Solar thermal is not only an extremely reliable technology with very low CO2 emissions but can be integrated to work in conjunction with other technologies and renewable means of heat or electricity generation as well as conventional heating.
The cost of installing solar water heating systems vary, depending on the type and quality of panels, the size and complexity of the system required to meet the hot water demands of your home, business or organisation, but it will continually provide free hot water for decades to come - meaning no ever increasing costs. This immediately slashes your energy bills (up to even 80% in summer months for households or businesses that use considerable amounts of hot water), meaning more profit every month.
To give some perfect examples of businesses that will hugely benefit from installing solar panels for heating water you can’t fail to mention such service enterprises as laundromats or car washes, that use massive amounts of hot water on a daily basis.
Let’s assume our car wash has 30 customers daily and uses approximately 60 litres of hot water per car on average. Heating that volume of water from 20℃ to 60℃ requires around 95kWh of energy. Using an electric heater daily costs of hot water alone can reach up to €15 per day, giving almost €5500 annually. Solar hot water systems can cut operating costs by tying directly into a car wash’s existing water heating system. These will not only increase profits by delivering hot water heated for free by the sun, but also it will reduce carbon emissions. It can even be used for space heating in colder regions.
Many governments are eager to provide incentives for businesses such as subsidies for installation of solar heating systems and tax reliefs for businesses that use them. That is another reason to look into benefits of using solar energy.
These systems can pay for themselves very quickly, with owners enjoying a return on investment in just a few short years. Solar water heater systems, when used along with boilers and other traditional systems, can greatly extend the other system’s lifespan, as the solar thermal system will be doing the lion’s share of the work.
Using solar energy to fuel your hot water needs will not only reduce your operating costs but will also contribute to a cleaner environment and show the community you support a green and sustainable way of doing business.
Invest the future of your business, your home and the future of our planet. Go solar.
Author: Adam Lasoń