This post is the third in a 3 part series about high efficiency and solar water heaters. If you haven’t already read parts 1 and 2, I recommend you do before continuing.

What is a thermosyphon?

In a thermosyphon system, the forces of convection are employed to move the water back and forth from the tank to the collector. Convection is the natural principle by which warm things rise, and cool things sink.

The advantage of a passive solar system is that it doesn’t require electricity to operate, meaning its operation is essentially free. Passive solar systems are also simpler, and therefore typically cheaper then active systems.

A solar water heater system on a modern, energy efficient home

Active solar water heaters

In active solar water heaters, one are more electric pumps circulate water between the collector and tank. Although they are more expensive to install and operate, active systems have many advantages over their passive counterparts. Their design can be adjusted much more readily to suit different situations, they are more efficient in terms of space and heat production, they can be controlled much more readily, they aren’t prone to issues of freezing and overheating that some passive systems are, and many of them have automatic functions. Generally, if supplying electricity and additional start-up cost aren’t issues, active is the way to go.

Supplemental water heaters, maintenance, and repair

In most climates, it is necessary to supplement a solar water heater with a conventional one for cloudy days and cold winter temperatures. Unfortunately, this makes many solar water heater installs somewhat complicated, and creates more opportunities for things to go wrong. Fortunately, the pros at Polar HVAC are here to help out with all your water heater repair needs. They have the skills and expertise to get your water heater running at its best, whether it’s a passive solar system, and active one, or a traditional storage water heater.