Solar Hot Water Systems
What is Solar Hot Water?
Solar hot water heating is a well-tested technology that is common in Europe and other parts of the world. A solar panel on your roof converts the FREE energy from the sun into heat for heating your hot water. You always have hot water, day or night, winter or summer, rain or shine.
Who is Solar Hot Water For?
Solar hot water is a great option if you:
- Use lots of hot water
- Want to shrink your energy bills
- Want to increase the value of your home
- Want to generate clean, renewable energy
- Want to be more energy independent
- Have enough sun exposure
FACT: Colwood has 2,200 hours of sun annually - significantly more than the 1,500 hour average in Germany, a world leader in solar.
Saving You Up-front Costs Now and On Future Energy Bills
The typical cost of an installed system, before incentives, is $6,000 to $10,000, but will increase the value of your home and provide you with inexpensive hot water for the entire life of the system. Typically, 40% of your annual hot water needs can be met by a solar hot water system.
Read about Colwood Energy Champions who are enjoying their new solar hot water systems, and book a FREE SolarPlus Site Visit for a shading analysis and return on investment estimate so that you can know if solar is right for you.
How Does it Work?
Solar hot water systems are a proven technology for harvesting the abundant clean, renewable energy from the sun.
- Free energy from the sun is absorbed by the collector on your roof (flat panel or evacuated tube system)
- Collected heat flows through the heat exchanger.
- The heat exchanger safely transfers heat to the water in the pre-heat tank.
- The water going into your regular hot water tank is now warm or even hot, reducing the energy needed to heat your water.
What Are the Components of a Solar Hot Water System?
1. Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors
Evacuated tube solar collectors are made of strong glass and coated fins that absorb heat. The air inside the tube is removed, creating a vacuum that insulates the pipe, increasing its efficiency. A pipe in the center of the tube collects the heat and transfers it to the pre-heat tank.
2. Flat Panel Solar Collectors
Flat panel solar collectors are made of three key layers: glazing, heat absorbers and piping that carries heat down to the pre-heat tank.
Solar Hot Water Control Station and Heat Exchanger
The solar hot water controls and heat exchanger automatically regulate the flow of heat energy from the collectors to the pre-heat tank and from the pre-heat tank to the original tank. Digital settings show the temperature at the collectors and in the pre-heat tank helping track how much free energy from the sun is replacing electricity, gas or other energy sources.
Solar Hot Water Pre-Heat Tank
Water in this tank is pre-heated by free energy from the sun and then flows into your regular water tank, working together so you always have hot water, day or night, rain or shine, winter or summer. This system works for any type of hot water heater, including on-demand systems.
Learn More About Solar Hot Water Heating
INFO SHEETS and BOOKLETS
- Local Solar Community: T'Sou-ke First Nation
- German Communities Go Solar For Self Sufficiency
- Home Uses the Sun in Ten Different Ways, including Solar Hot Water
Located in the cooler central Utah climate at 6,000 foot elevation, the Allan's solar home integrates at least ten different forms of solar, including: trombe wall, solarium convection, photovoltaic cells, propylene-glycol heat exchange, eutectic salt chamber, berm insulation, black chimneys and under-ground intake for passive solar air conditioning, and dehydration of food.
- California RoofTop Revolution
Within a decade, more than 35 million buildings may be generating their own solar electricity sufficient to power almost 10% of the country in the United States, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
- How Does Solar Hot Water Work?
- Where can Solar Hot Water Panels be Mounted? Here are some examples:
- Your Dream Home?
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. See a gallery of solar-powered homes.