Calculating Electricity Generating Efficiency of My Solar Water Heater Always Raises a Smile
Posted Sep 22 2008 10:21am
My wife Cat and I live with the smallest carbon footprint possible for a modern
couple residing in a city with poor mass transit and cycling options. One area
in which we excel (as recently confirmed by an air conditioning salesman) is in
conserving electricity. While our methods won’t work everywhere, they have
proved quite effective for us. In fact, when annualized, our monthly electric
bill never exceeds $90.
It wasn’t always that way, of course. In fact, we used to hover just above $100
per month. Then, we upgraded our home to a solar water heater. What a great
decision! It is wonderful. We have had it for more than a year and our water
always is hot and our electric bill consistently is $20 below what we used to
pay. So, as we enjoy our monthly pastime of calculating electricity generating
efficiency of our water heater, or the equivalent thereof, the number
consistently tops 20%.
If you own your home or live in a complex which allows for upgrading to a solar
water heater, I exhort you to give the possibility due consideration. As to the
logistics of having a solar water heater on cloudy days, the unit has an
electrical back-up. In our case, we have it set to the lowest possible
temperature. Recently, during Tropical Storm Fay, we had no sun for more
than 3 straight days. And our water? Mighty comfy the whole time!
Solar water heaters harness the sun very effectively and keep the hot water hot.
To learn more about the installation process, check out my very first online video here at Keyboard Culture for a recap of how it went at the