Solar water heaters—also called solar domestic hot water systems—can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home meeting approximately 70% of your existing hot water needs. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use—sunshine—is free. Water heating bills can drop 50 - 80% with the installation of a solar hot water heater. Not only will you have a reliable source of hot water, you can add value to your home and earn tax credits.
Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors. Pumps circulate a non-freezing, heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home.
Most solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank. Solar storage tanks have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collector. In two-tank systems, the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank.