Energy-Efficient Water Heating Solutions
Domestic water heating uses a significant amount of energy in homes. It can use more end-use energy than all other residential uses combined!
Water heating systems can be powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, and fossil fuels. Renewable technologies can also serve to preheat water, with conventional units kicking in during times of peak demand. Visit Website for a professional service.
Solar Water Heaters
The sun’s rays can heat water quickly and efficiently. By using solar water heaters, households use less natural gas and electricity, lowering energy bills and helping save the environment.
Solar water heaters are usually installed in the garage, but can also be installed on roofs. There are two kinds: active and passive. Active systems require circulating pumps, while passive ones rely on gravity to move the water through collectors. The right system for your home depends on your climate and how much sunlight it receives.
Compared to conventional electric or gas water heaters, solar systems can cut electricity and gas consumption by half. With a backup gas or electric water heater, the savings can be even greater.
Solar water heating is especially attractive for homes that rely on expensive fuel oil or electricity, where high utility rates or frequent power outages add to the cost of energy. For those, a small solar water heater can save around 140 liters of fuel oil or a significant amount of money, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The cost of a solar hot water system can be higher than the upfront cost of an electric or gas water heater, but it can pay for itself in about three to six years. And the energy savings can be substantial, especially for those living in sunny areas that get abundant sunshine.
Several rebates and tax credits are available to help offset the initial costs. Local zoning and building codes can affect where a solar water heater may be installed, so it’s important to check the requirements in your community before investing in this kind of alternative energy technology.
Solar water heating is often a good option for new construction, as it can be easily built into the house. However, retrofits can be challenging for older houses, as they typically have a mix of old and new insulation, making it difficult to match the required temperatures. Another concern is the potential for “scaling” in which minerals from hard water build up in the system, causing it to clog or fail. Installing a water softener can help prevent this problem.
Geothermal Water Heaters
Geothermal systems are best known for their heating and cooling, but this green technology can also be used to provide on-demand hot water. To do this, a desuperheater, an auxiliary heat exchanger, is added to the system. It takes the superheated gases produced by a heat pump’s compressor and uses them to pre-heat your home’s water heater tank, which then supplies you with all of your hot water needs. Adding this option to your geothermal system can save you up to 80% on energy costs for your hot water.
The temperature beneath the earth remains relatively constant no matter how cold or hot it is outside, so geothermal systems use this consistent temperature to generate warm air and provide on-demand hot water. This is achieved by a system of pipes that are placed underground (either horizontally or vertically depending on your property). The pipes in these closed-loop systems are filled with water or a mixture of antifreeze and water that is used to bring the heat to the house or cool it down.
These pipes can be connected to a hydronic heating system for space heating or to a water-based cooling system for air conditioning. Using the heat transfer medium of water, these systems require only small amounts of electricity to move the heat between your home and the ground. The system can even help to reduce your carbon footprint by providing on-demand hot water.
There are two types of geothermal heating systems: closed-loop and open-loop. Closed-loop systems draw heat from a well in the backyard, and they’re typically the most popular choice for homeowners because of their low installation cost. In addition, this type of system doesn’t require any ductwork and does not circulate contaminated indoor air.
Open-loop systems, on the other hand, are installed at a much deeper level than closed-loop systems. This is because they use natural, renewable thermal energy in the ground instead of from a pond or lake on your property. These geothermal systems are more expensive to install, but they can provide you with a higher return on investment and reduce your energy bills in the long run.
Heat pumps transfer thermal energy from one environment to another. They move energy rather than generating it themselves, so they require less energy than conventional electric or gas systems. They can be used for heating, cooling, and supplying domestic hot water. Many are energy efficient enough to earn the ENERGY STAR label.
Active solar hot water (SWH) systems harvest solar energy through collectors that directly or indirectly heat potable water. The heat is transferred to a storage tank or other points of use via an electrical pump. Most systems can’t produce 100% of the hot water needed at a given time, so they are usually combined with other backup heating sources such as fuel cells or resistance boilers.
There are two main types of heat pumps: air-to-air and air-to-water. Air-to-air heat pumps are the most common. They take heat from the air and feed it into your existing wet central heating system, similar to a traditional gas furnace. These units are most suitable for moderate climates.
Air-to-water heat pumps are more commonly found in cold climates. These systems are similar to air-to-air heat pumps except they supply the hot water directly to your household plumbing instead of to a radiator system or steam distribution system. They are also available in mini-split or ductless, versions that use one compressor to power multiple wall-mounted indoor units each with its blower.
A desuperheater can be added to some heat pumps to recover waste energy from the refrigeration cycle that is normally lost and turn it back into usable heat. This feature can significantly boost a heat pump’s performance.
Like all solar technologies, heat pumps have a limited lifespan and need regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. For example, they should be cleaned and flushed of sediment at least twice a year. The insulated storage tank and piping should be checked for cracks or leaks. Regular inspections should also be conducted to make sure the insulating blanket and vapor barriers are in good condition.
On-Site Power Generation
For organizations looking for ways to reduce their electricity consumption and carbon footprint, on-site power generation is a great option. This energy solution allows organizations to generate their power from a range of different fuel sources, including natural gas, biogas, biomass, and waste heat. With energy prices varying significantly, on-site generation helps to protect businesses against fluctuating costs and uncertainty.
Depending on the technology chosen, onsite generators can operate in parallel with the local power grid. This offers important redundancy, ensuring that the facility will always have power even if there are faults or disruptions to the grid. Many data centers rely on onsite power generation to avoid downtime during critical business processes.
In addition, on-site power generation can provide improved energy efficiency by combining with battery storage technology. This can allow users to store surplus energy generated on high-generation days and then access it during low-generation times. This can eliminate the need for grid purchases and can help to improve power quality, preventing harmonics and voltage sag that could trip expensive computer equipment.
Finally, on-site power generation offers greater environmental stability by reducing demand on the local utility grid. This is especially true when combined with renewable technology, which can be used to produce electricity from a wide variety of renewable fuels. This can also make it easier to comply with corporate social responsibility goals by demonstrating that the business is using clean, green energy.
The efficiencies of most onsite generation technologies mean that less fuel is needed to produce the same amount of electricity, thereby further reducing carbon emissions. This is particularly true when using renewable energies, such as solar PV panels or wind turbines, to generate energy. The more efficient onsite generation systems also use less maintenance, helping to further lower operating costs. This makes on-site generation a very attractive and effective solution for organizations with available space to install such technologies.