types, advantages and disadvantages and regulations in Spain

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Long before solar panels were placed on the roofs of houses, solar boilers could already be seen in Spain. Especially in the south of the country, it was not uncommon to see a boiler with solar panels on roofs. In Spanish these are called ‘colector solar térmico’ and they are an alternative to generating hot water via solar heat.

A solar boiler is a sustainable way to produce hot water by using solar energy. The system consists of a solar collector installed on the roof and a storage tank in which the heated water is stored for use in the home. This system has several advantages, including a reduction in CO2 emissions and savings on energy costs.

A solar boiler can be a particularly attractive option in Spain because of the climate. Most of the country has more than 300 days of sunshine per year, meaning there is enough solar energy available to run a solar water heater effectively. Furthermore, Spain is committed to promoting sustainable energy sources, including solar energy.

However, there are also certain regulations that must be taken into account when installing a solar boiler in Spain. One of the most important rules is that the installation must be carried out by a recognized company that has the necessary certifications and permits. This ensures that the system is installed safely and efficiently.

In addition, there are also specific laws in Spain that relate to the installation of solar energy systems, including solar boilers. For example, the installation must be reported to the regional energy agency and an inspection must be carried out to ensure that the system meets all requirements. Solar water heaters must also be maintained and inspected by licensed professionals to ensure that the system continues to operate safely and efficiently.

Possible disadvantages

These are not all advantages, because there are also some disadvantages of installing a solar boiler. It is a major investment to buy and install a solar boiler with an amount between 2,000 and 4,000 euros. In addition, you cannot supply the hot water that you do not use back to the electricity grid, as is the case with excess electricity from solar panels. You will also need an additional hot water system in case the solar boiler does not provide enough hot water. There is also a solar boiler Not a pretty sight on the roof, but solar panels aren’t always either.

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Types of solar boilers

There are different types of solar boilers on the market, each with their own specific features and benefits. Below is a brief description of the most common types:

Thermosiphon solar boiler: This type of solar water heater uses natural convection to circulate the heated water. The solar collector is installed on the roof and the heated water rises and is stored in a tank located lower than the collector.

Compact solar boiler: This type of solar boiler consists of an integrated system of solar collectors and a storage tank in one compact unit. It is a good option for homes with limited space for installing a solar water heater.

Heat pipe solar boiler: This type of solar boiler uses heat pipes, which are filled with a liquid that evaporates quickly at low temperatures. The evaporated liquid rises to the condenser, where it becomes liquid again and releases heat to the water in the storage tank.

Solar boiler with return system: This type of solar boiler uses a special return system that ensures that the water does not overheat and the solar collector is not damaged at high temperatures.

Solar boiler with heat pump: This type of solar boiler combines solar energy with a heat pump that extracts the remaining energy from the environment to further heat the water. It is an efficient way to make the water even warmer and to have warm water all year round.

Payback period and useful life

If the installation If it is properly dimensioned, the investment can be recouped in just 9 years, a period that some estimate takes between 6 and 7 years. With current subsidies, the payback period can be reduced to 2 or 3 years because, depending on the place of residence, different incentives can be obtained from public authorities.

Most experts agree that the lifespan of a solar water heater is approximately 25 years, although there have been cases of systems installed in the 1980s operating for more than 40 years.

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The article is in Dutch

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