Learn about Solar Power Topics
Which topic would you like to learn about regarding solar power? Choose from the items above. Were you trying to learn about all of the solar projects that the City is working on instead?
Solar Water Heating
What is Solar Water Heating?
A residential solar water heater utilizes fluid-filled rooftop panels that collect the sun's heat, and deliver heat via piping to a large storage water heater below. These systems are usually sized to provide about 70% of the family's annual water heating from sun energy, with the remaining 30% provided by backup heating capability built into the storage tank (electric or gas). Some systems use a storage tank on the roof beside the collector panel.
Is it a better deal than solar photovoltaic (PV)?
Solar water heating ("solar thermal") deserves more respect. While solar photovoltaic systems seem to get more attention, solar water heating by comparison produces about twice as much energy per dollar invested. You get much more bang for the buck with Solar Thermal.
Solar water heating and Tallahassee
Standard sizing for a family of four would be 40 square feet of rooftop collector panel, together with an 80 gallon storage water heater. Solar water heaters in Tallahassee need good freeze protection - for example, closed loop "indirect" systems that circulate a non-freezable intermediate fluid (glycol) in rooftop panels. Over the last five years, installed cost for systems financed in the City's loan program has averaged about $5,500.
The City of Tallahassee offers a $450 solar water heater rebate for qualifying Solar Domestic Water Heating systems, and Federal 30% tax credits are available until December 31st, 2016.
Call 891.4YOU (4968) and ask to speak to someone in the Energy Services department to learn more about this technology.