Solar thermal energy can be harnessed from sunlight for use in domestic, commercial and industry. Water heating requires a huge amount of energy. In most of the houses and industries thermal energy is generated from gas and oils. But many people use electricity to heat water which is most expensive. Solar water heating systems are very useful in reducing energy costs for water heating. The solar energy is made to heat water kept in a water tank using solar panels.
As with many systems, there are advantages and disadvantages we should consider.
Advantages of Solar Water Heating
Absolutely no fuel cost
Solar energy is absolutely free and is available in abundant everywhere. Like most of the other sources of renewable energy, Solar Thermal Energy does not require any fuel. Hence we need not worry about increasing electricity charges.
Solar Thermal Energy can be generated 24 hours a day. This is because the solar thermal power plants use molten salts etc. Hence power supply is uniform and reliable.
One of the biggest advantages of Solar Thermal Energy is that it does not cause pollution. Also, there are absolutely no global warming effects.
The system used to produce thermal energy is very efficient because around 80% of solar radiation is converted into heat energy.
Compared to solar photovoltaic panels, thermal panels require less space. This is because we require only 2-3 panels of size 2m x 1m each to heat the water in the household.
Disadvantages of Solar Water Heating
Not many uses
Solar thermal panels are used only to heat water. However, if electricity is produced using Solar PV panels, it can be used to heat water also apart from other uses.
Solar thermal energy systems cannot produce energy in cloudy weather conditions or during nights. Hence the reliability is less compared to other systems.
It is somewhat difficult to store the solar energy or hot water. Hence we will face problems during emergency times.