Termotanques solares

Ignacio Gentile, an engineer from Peisa, answers our questions about solar hot water tanks and their benefits.


How do solar water heaters work?
PEISA´s Solar Water heaters use solar energy to heat water. They are made up of two main elements: the solar collector (which captures the sun's energy) and the tank (where the water is stored).

What benefits do they bring to the environment? What economic or other type of benefit does this entail for the user?
Environmental pollution problems are becoming more and more serious and the depletion of traditional energy is imminent. In this way, the development of renewable energies has become more important in the last few years. The low pollution they produce, their renewability and their diverse possibilities of use, make them very attractive for their development on a global scale.

In this context, solar energy represents one of the best alternatives thanks to its multiple advantages and benefits:
• Clean and inexhaustible source of energy.
• Savings in fuel and independence from the increase in energy costs.
• Positive impact on the environment.
It represents for the user a saving of up to 70% per year of the energy necessary for heating domestic water.

Regarding the installation, can this be done in any type of building/housing, must it have previous compatible conditions / installations? Is the installation simple or complex?
It can be installed in any type of home. The installation is very simple. The most common application is in family homes, hospitals, hotels, shops and clubs. The ideal location of the solar hot water tank is in a clear place (it’s recommended to install it on the roof), facing north, with an approximate inclination of 40/45 degrees.

What considerations should be taken about the change of angle according to latitude?
The thermal energy of the sun that we can capture varies depending on the season of the year and spatial location. The location of the collector must always be towards the north. The inclination of the collector will vary depending on when we want to receive and accumulate the radiation. To capture sun the whole year, an approximate calculation is made considering the geographical latitude plus 10°. This result would be the ideal inclination.

Do you think that solar hot water tanks will be able to replace to some extent those that work with another type of energy such as electricity or gas?
Not entirely, because in times of low solar irradiation a supplement is necessary to cover 100% of the demand. Usually the systems are sized to cover 100% in summer avoiding high temperatures, and in winter or mid-season they are complemented with gas or electricity support equipment.

How big is the demand in the market for solar thermal energy?
In Argentina, the market for solar products is booming, growing year after year. In the case of single-family homes, solar systems that generate contributions to the hot water system are widely used in some areas of the country, such as Córdoba and Rosario. But in the case of buildings, which require considerable space for the location of solar collectors, although the spread is slower, more and more architecture studios and developers are considering the use of renewable energy as a variable to be analyzed, given that the savings on the gas bill are considerable. For its use to grow exponentially, accompanying policies are necessary.

Does it work in winter and on rainy days?
Yes, but it’s important to keep in mind that the temperature it reaches will depend on several variables such as: the ambient temperature, solar radiation, cloud cover and wind. In other words, the performance will not be the same on a sunny summer´s day as on a cloudy winter´s day. In order to reach the ideal temperature for use it will be necessary to complement it with other equipment.




Related articles