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installing solar hot water

asked 2013-04-18 16:05:19 -0500

rebecca gravatar image

How difficult/invasive is it to install a solar hot water system? Every home is likely different, but in general is it one ground floor panel piped into your hot water heater?

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answered 2013-04-18 16:06:21 -0500

stu gravatar image

Solar hot water is the smallest, easiest way to actively use the sun to replace fossil fuel. It may be possible for the installation to effect only the basement and the exterior. For a single family home with up to four people, one evacuated tube collector can be mounted on posts in the ground, on the south wall, or on the roof. There are several choices of how to interconnect with a conventional water heater, for back up. You are right, each home is different. If you tell me the type of water heater in use now, I will tell you the benefits of different approaches.

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answered 2014-10-14 19:35:35 -0500

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updated 2014-10-14 19:35:35 -0500

It is not very difficult to install a solar hot water system. It needs to be well thought out and planned to meet the needs of the home. Items to consider are number of people regularly using how water. A typical family of 4 would be best fitted with a 64 square foot flat plate collector area mated with an 80 gallon solar water storage tank with dual wall heat exchanger to prevent non-toxic anti-freeze from mixing with domestic water in the NJ area. Anti-freeze helps prevent freeze damage in winter months. You should also consider overheat protection in case of travel during summer months. Extreme collector tilt to reduce summer performance or a drainback design to stop heat transfer fluid circulation when tank temperatures meet a set high limit.

For most homes, roof location for collectors works best due to the higher surface in relation to nearby tree shading. It also facilitates drainback design for overheat protection. Solar storage tank is best located nearest existing water heating source, but not required. A piping path connecting the two is necessary. The solar storage tank becomes the primary pre-heat for your existing tank. Energy is saved when the solar storage tank water temperature exceeds the set point for the traditional tank to fire up or turn the electric element on. When properly sized, you can have 1.5-2 days of solar heated water storage to ride through short bad weather periods.

Solar Living, Inc has been designing, servicing, installing and selling solar thermal systems for over 37 years. I have been a partner with the company since 2006. To learn more, please see or ( Or email

Mike @ Solar Living

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Asked: 2013-04-18 16:05:19 -0500

Seen: 938 times

Last updated: Oct 14 '14