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Solar energy draws power from sunlight. Sometimes solar is referred to as ‘green energy,’ but that term is very vague, and there are dissenters that claim solar energy isn’t green at all. Fortunately, you can use solar power without taking a stance on semantics or jumping into debates. Homeowners choose solar-powered systems for many reasons, such as savings on the electric bill, concern about carbon emissions, or a backup plan to use appliances and fixtures if utilities are cut off for any reason.
Solar Well Pumps
Homeowners with private wells know how important a well pump is to the household. Without a working pump, getting water to indoor plumbing fixtures becomes nearly impossible. Some homes have gravity-fed systems, but this isn’t a possibility for most homeowners. Solar well pumps are growing in popularity because they’re reliable and don’t leave homeowners dependent on outside utility providers to get water into the home. Some solar pump systems can supply water for hundreds of cattle or irrigate farms, but homeowners can choose much smaller systems.
One of the biggest advantages of a solar well pump is operating cost. Instead of paying for electricity every time you turn on the pump, you only need to pay for the initial installation costs of a solar pump. Of course, there may be maintenance and repair costs in the future, but these expenses don’t occur daily. Discuss possible maintenance schedules with your local plumber.
Solar pumps are also a great solution if the water source isn’t near the house. Windmills have been used to get around the complex setup needed to get electricity to remote locations, but solar pumps are much easier to install, maintain, and use than a windmill. Many modular solar well pump symptoms are designed for easy repairs and upgrades. You can add more solar panels if the household’s water needs increase and install extra batteries to store more power throughout the night. Sometimes the pump itself can be replaced fairly easily. Talk to your plumber about the most appropriate system for you home and decide if you should choose a system designed for frequent upgrades.
Solar Powered Water Filtration
Solar power can even be used for water purification systems. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems are very effective, but they do use a lot of electricity. Some reverse osmosis systems are designed with two photovoltaic solar panels. The panel’s power pumps to push water through semi porous membranes that act as very thorough filters. A stand-alone solar powered filtration system may not be necessary for most homeowners, but it can be very useful for camping trips or any situation that interrupts usual methods of obtaining clean water. Ask your local plumber if a solar powered system is a good choice for your household.
Solar Water Heaters
Solar hot water heaters provide hot water for showers, washing machines, faucets, and other household fixtures. However, solar systems can also heat air for integrated forced air or in-floor heating systems. Solar thermal panels are heat exchangers. Panels absorb, or harvest, solar energy and transfer that energy into a liquid. The liquid may be water, polypropylene glycol, or a mixed solution. Fluids circulate in a closed-loop system.
Pressurized Solar Line Systems
Pressurized polypropylene glycol solar line systems work by transferring harvested solar energy to a submerged coil that heats water in a storage tank. This is an indirect heating method that works best in homes that already have electric or natural-gas-powered hot water heaters installed. Solar heat can also be transferred to hydronic floor heating loops through a thermal storage tank. This can be done with a dual-coil tank with two inlets and outlets. Lower coils harvest energy from solar collectors, while upper coils transfer energy to hydronic heating loops. Your plumber can help install a new system.
Although this may sound like a new technology, hydronic heating has been used for over 100 years. Some evidence even suggests that Ancient Rome used hot water for central heating in homes. Fossil fuels were commonly used for hydronic heating in the modern age, but solar power is rapidly catching up.
Hydronic systems work best with significant volumes of stored water or air, such as large water storage tanks or a concrete mass integrated with in-floor heating systems. Generous storage contains energy to ride out days with poor sunlight coverage. Underground thermal pits are an option for commercial buildings and homes in places with long stretches of inadequate sunlight, but they usually aren’t necessary in Las Vegas, NV.
Solar vacuum tubes are now advanced enough to harvest energy in the middle of winter. Some homeowners may need a backup electric or gas-powered water heater, but solar thermal systems may reduce costs by up to 40%-60%. Your plumbing professional can help you estimate household water use and decide if you need a backup water heater.
Homes in Las Vegas, NV, are especially suited for solar heating because they get copious amounts of sunlight throughout most of the year. Ask your plumber about using excess energy from solar hydronic systems to heat outdoor pools. Some homes may need to cover solar collectors at certain times during the summer if there’s nowhere to use the extra energy.
It’s important to remember that solar hydronic heating systems don’t have shut-off switches as you would find on a boiler. Hydronic heating can reach temperatures greater than 200 F. Seek help from a plumber or another professional with experience to design and install solar radiant systems. The solar power must be diluted or mixed down using components that can withstand high temperatures. Homeowners also need a plumber to help install water storage tanks, pumping stations, and piping systems. Some plumbers can also handle the vacuum tube solar collectors and possibly solar panels as well.
Schedule an appointment with Craig’s Plumbing to discuss any of your plumbing needs in Las Vegas, NV. A team of dependable, licensed plumbers provide congenial, high-quality services. They can answer any questions and help you make informed decisions concerning plumbing upgrades. Craig’s Plumbing strives to leave each client 100% satisfied.