New Solar Hot Water Technology May Be Coming to a Home Near You
Using the sun to heat up water is not a new concept. Solar hot water heater technology has been around for 30 years but has not gained a good foothold in this country as it has in other countries. Is the problem the technology, or the salesmanship, or the cost, or all of the above? The technology has improved over the last 30 years and now may be the time to rethink the use of solar to heat up the shower. A new entry into the solar water industry in the U.S. is hoping consumers will revisit the idea. Sunnovations Inc. is manufacturing a new solar hot water system in Clarksville, TN, that it hopes will entice American homeowners to turn to solar for more than just the environmental savings. The Sunnovations system is a hybrid, like the cars, so that even on cloudy days, the water will still be hot. But the solar panels that contain heat transfer fluid need very little sunlight to start the heating process. The new technology, the company says, comes in the ‘geyser pump” action that uses solar energy to force the hot heat transfer fluid into a water storage tank in the house. The system is a passive pump design in which there is no need for electric pumps, controls, or sensors to turn on or off or adjust or repair. With projected savings of 75% on their water heating bills and current federal tax breaks for energy efficient upgrades, Sunnovations hopes that its redesigned solar technology will show the U.S. homeowner that there are viable options to electric- and gas-powered water heating systems.