The solar water heater can be integrated into future residential buildings as the main energy source, which will subsequently reduce the energy cost of water heating. An original configuration for an efficient Domestic Hot Water (DHW) storage tank is developed and experimentally evaluated under Saharan climate. This novel DHW configuration includes a hybrid (solar and electric) energy system with a flat plate solar collector coupled with an electric heater. Additionally, a phase change material (PCM) mixture that is composed of paraffin wax and animal fat with a melting temperature between 35.58 °C and 62.58 °C and latent heat between 180 and 210 kJ/kg is integrated into this novel tank configuration. The experimental results indicated that hot water production by using latent heat storage could be economically attractive. By evaluating the cost of water heating expressed in Algerian dinar per liter (DZD/L), it was found that one liter of hot water may cost around 0.1362 DZD/L (i.e., 0.00096 USD/L) compared to 0.4431 DZD/L for the conventional water heater, an average energy cost savings of 69.26%. On a yearly basis, the average energy cost savings may reach up to 80.25% if optimal tilt for the solar collector is adopted on a monthly basis. The flat plate collector may be vulnerable to convective heat transfer; therefore, other solar collectors, such as vacuum tube collectors, may provide enhanced energy performance.
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