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Solar Water Heaters Are Not Universal Panacea
At preset stage solar water heaters are not worthy to be praised. Instead of that much cheaper and more efficient constructions of solar water heaters should be developed.
By Zohrab Melikyan
Sep. 22, 2015

Lately a massage named “Open letter to Mr. Goldwater Jr. from American Tax payers Alliance by internet program “Welt daily” particularly says: “Americans deserve to get all the facts about solar power, good, bad or ugly... That’s especially true if the solar industry refuses to adopt a self-sustaining business model and intends to remain reliant on mandates, political favoritism and the often-unwitting financial support of tax payers”… “But as long as it remains award of the state, using government power and other peoples’ money to guarantee profit margins, it will remain a legitimate topic for wider public debate of the kind we’re trying to spark with the Solar Secrets project…”

The author Dr. Zohrab Melikyan maked a research work with the research team: doctors of engineering Siranush and Naira Egnaosyans on the problem of real pay back of solar water heaters. The theme of the research aroused after they read the report of American National Laboratory of Renewable Energy researchers “Low-Cost Solar Water Heating Research and Development Roadmap”, NREL/TP-5500-54793, 2012, in which the authors represent a good idea about construction of cheap solar water heater for preparation 110 (litter/day) domestic hot water at 43(oC) for a family. But they made a doubtful statement that flat solar water heater, costing $1000, can pay back in 2.5 ÷ 3.4 years.

To check such questionable conclusion the research team executed a research. The detailed investigations have been accomplished to discover energy and economic real efficiency of different types of solar water heaters. Thus, the payback period of cheapest flat solar heater was evaluated 69 years instead of claimed 3.4 years. Consequently it was concluded that solar water heaters are not universal panacea for solving all energy problems, as suppose or believe many sellers and customers. Due to higher efficiency and lower initial cost the payback period of shell and tub type solar water heater is much shorter and makes about 21.5year.

An article about the research was published in “International Journal of Energy and Power Engineering” Vol. 4, No. 3, 2015.

Here is the paper link:

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