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Solar Hot Water

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SOLAR HOT WATER

What you need to know

You use hot water at home every day when you take a shower, run a load of laundry, or wash your dishes. Solar water heating systems use the sun’s energy to heat the water in your home.

Solar hot water (also known as solar water heating) is an alternative to conventional water heating systems, including tank-less coil water heaters, gas water heaters, electric water heaters, or heat pump water heaters (all of which use either gas, oil, or electricity to power them.) We have used solar energy to heat water for centuries, but not until the 1980s did solar hot water companies begin to take off, making solar hot water a viable option for property owners.

 
TYPES OF SOLAR HEATING

Quality solar hot water systems for every need

Check out our wide selection of solar products for all your solar needs.

Roof-mounted solar hot water heaters

Roof mount solar hot water systems are also referred to as ‘close-coupled’ systems.

These comprise a water tank attached to solar collectors sitting on the roof. The water from the tank is flows into the panels, where it heats before it goes back up into the tank.

Ground mounted solar hot water heaters

Ground mount – also called ‘split’ – solar hot water systems comprise a different design where the tank is placed at ground level and the collectors are located on the roof. The water from the tank is pumped up into the collectors on the roof, where it is heated before being pumped back down into the tank.

heat pump hot water heaters

Most homeowners who have heat pumps use them to heat and cool their homes. But a heat pump also can be used to heat water — either as stand-alone water heating system, or as combination water heating and space conditioning system.

You can purchase a stand-alone heat pump water heating system as an integrated unit with a built-in water storage tank and back-up resistance heating elements.

COMPONENTS

Collectors

The panels in a solar thermal system are known as “collectors,” and are typically installed on a rooftop. These collectors are different from the photovoltaic solar panels you’re probably familiar with, because instead of generating electricity, they generate heat. Sunshine (or “solar radiation”) passes through a collector’s glass covering and strikes a component called an absorber plate, which has a coating designed to capture solar energy and convert it to heat. This generated heat is transferred to a “transfer fluid” (either antifreeze or potable water) contained in small pipes in the plate.

Collectors come in different sizes. The size and number of collectors you’ll install depends on how much sunshine your roof gets and how much hot water you use in your home. They are also made in two styles: flat plate and evacuated tube. Flat plate collectors are generally less expensive, but can capture less sunlight and are less efficient in colder conditions. Evacuated tube collectors take up less space on your roof, but are heavier and more fragile.

Heat exchanger and storage tank

Once the transfer fluid in your collectors heats up, it moves into a series of pipes known as a “heat exchanger,” which is located inside the storage tank for your hot water. When these pipes are filled with heated transfer fluid, the heat is transferred from the pipes to your water, making hot water that is ready to be used in your home.

Controller system

Most solar hot water systems have a controller system that ensure the water in the storage tank doesn’t get too hot. Controller systems can also prevent cold water from being cycled through the system when it’s extremely cold outside and the transfer fluid isn’t being warmed sufficiently.

Backup heater

Lastly, every solar hot water system comes with a backup system. On days when it’s too cloudy to generate enough heated water from solar energy, your backup heater will kick in and generate hot water for your home with gas or electricity. Backup heaters will account for roughly 20 percent of your hot water use throughout the year.

Financing option available!

A well financed, properly sized solar system can save you more money every month than it costs you to finance. Financing is a great solution that will help you save money immediately, if you don’t want to spend the cash upfront.

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Ready to start saving money? Send us your information and our experts will reach out to you and help you define your needs, understand the options and make a plan that works!

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