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Solar water heating system
A solar water heating system is a device that converts light radiation from the sun into heat to produce hot water. It is made up of a solar panel, a storage tank and a circulation system that transfers the heat from the solar collectors to the tank. By using renewable energy, this device helps to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
Heat collectors, usually installed on the roof of the house, absorb solar radiation which produces heat. This heat is transferred to a heat transfer fluid contained in a copper pipe which in turn heats up the water stored in a tank. To compensate for any lack of sunshine, a back-up device such as a heating element or boiler is connected to the storage tank. A domestic solar water heating system can supply 40 to 60% of hot water requirements in the north of France and 60 to 80% in the south. In France, the number of solar water heating systems is constantly increasing. In 2004 an additional 50% solar water heating systems were installed compared to 2003 whereas the increase was only 35 to 40% in previous years.