Alternative Energy

Self-Sufficiency Simplified: Solar Water Heating



solar water heating

Water heater use is one of the main reasons electric bills are very high these days. Yet we have no choice but to use warm water because hygiene is also an important factor for health and ultimately survival. In other words, heated water is a necessity which can be quite costly.

Self-sufficiency Simplified: Solar Water Heating

Solar power is nothing new, but it is quite sad how few are actually utilizing this incredibly efficient and virtually free energy system. The people who already use this renewable energy system will definitely fair better after the collapse or  in the event of an outage or other disaster. While the majority are enduring cold showers, those who use solar water heating will enjoy the benefits of free warm water even in three feet of snow.

Want to know what else solar power can do?

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To read the whole article click here.

Solar Water Heating Basics

In my life B.C. (Before Children), I received my Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis is renewable energy. After graduation, I worked for a company that operated the world’s largest flat plate collector solar water heating (SWH) system and did SWH installations. When we built our current home, we added a solar water system shortly after the home was completed. It’s been providing up with hot water since 2006. (We also have passive solar heating in our current home.) Basically, I’ve had solar water heating in my life for over 20 years now, living in an area where you might least expect to see it (Wisconsin).

In this post, I’ll give you an overview of solar water heating basics so you can decide if this green home option is right for you.

Why use solar water heating?

After heating and cooling, water heating tends to be one of areas where people use the most energy. Estimates range from around 15% to up to 40% of energy usage, with the high end coming from old, inefficient electric heaters.

With solar water heating, you use heat from the sun to heat some or all of your water. At its most basic, this can be done with a dark container left out in the sun. Friends of ours camped out on their property while building their home, and set up an outdoor shower with 50 gallon barrels painted black on a platform above their shower area. Another variant of this is the solar camp shower bags that can be filled and hung in a sunny location to provide hot water while camping (or during an emergency situation).

In our case, our solar collectors preheat water for our domestic hot water and for our in floor radiant heating. On sunny winter days, the passive and active solar cover the bulk of our heating load.

via Solar Water Heating Basics.

Now is the time when you should believe in the power of solar energy and its benefits. We never know what is going to happen in the future but we should always be ready for anything. It’s about time we stop depending too much on the grid, cut down on the bills and go ‘green’ with solar water heater. This is the best way to survive the cold season and whatever else could take place when SHTF. Apart from saving money, nature is also preserved.

The simplest form of water heater includes solar panels which are in charge of collecting energy to power the system, a reservoir for water, heat exchanger for boiling water, pump to transport water to the main shower output, sensor for obtaining warmness, and a tank. The principle of solar water heating system is the same as what you have in your homes, the only difference is that it is powered by energy coming from the sun. More importantly, it is free.

Whether you are dealing with the cold season or TEOTW, there is no need to depend on that power socket because solar water heating will help you live independently.


P.S.  What else can solar do for you?   You might be shocked to find out that the sun can and will provide you with just about everything you need to survive and thrive the coming collapse..

Click here to see why

Check out related articles from our website:

Your Road Map To Self Sufficiency

Homesteading and Sustainability – How To Become Self Reliant

17+ Ways To Become Self-Sufficient Before ‘The Crunch’

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  1. Pingback: Self-Sufficiency Simplified: Solar Water Heating | Survivalist Basics | Be Prepared For Anything!

  2. Jim

    September 24, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Basic solar water heating has been in use for over 100 years. If you look at historical photos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake you can see solar tanks on the roofs of many buildings.

  3. Dee Stus

    September 25, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    How does the GRID work and why is there no electric available if it goes down???

    • Erin

      September 25, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      When you get a solar system that is hooked up to the grid to sell back any excess energy produced, they will put a device on it that will only allow the power to go to the grid and then you feed all your energy from the grid. To protect their workers, the device they use will not allow any power to go to the grid if it is shut down or senses an imbalance between what you produce and what is in the power lines in case they are working on the lines. What they don’t tell any customer is that when the power is down you can not feed directly from your panels unless you put a separate device on the system to route around their meter and the power grid. Consequently, virtually no solar customer realizes that they will have no power when the grid goes down for any reason, even if it is a completely clear day with plenty of sunlight. The panels just produce power that goes nowhere.

  4. Great Grey

    September 26, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    We would have a lot more solar energy use to day if didn’t have the money grubbers saying don’t put it in because it will take 30 years to get your money back, or you won’t get the cost when you sell. Never mind that when there’s a power outage it could save your food or keep your pipes from freezing and save you much of the cost of it in one event, or let you stay at home instead of having get a hotel room at $200+ per day could easily cost more than system they say not worth putting in.

    • Tommy

      November 23, 2014 at 7:53 AM

      Actually, the problems of our recent past which cause us not to have solar power today (November 23, 2014), were cause in great part by companies, like Solendra, that took billions of dollars in stimulus money and then immediately filed for bankruptcy. They were Obama campaign donors. If we’re going to cast blame, let’s at least be accurate.

      IF we had companies that actually researched and improved solar panels so that they were less expensive for the average person, we would see more use of solar power.

      Wind power seems to be problematic because of it’s adverse effect on birds. I think it’s disgraceful that we write off birds for power while denying water to millions of people to “save” a turtle that isn’t actually endangered!

      WE need to get our priorities straight and work together. Only then will anything be accomplished.

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