How to Select a Solar Water Heater

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,742
    Water Heater Expert Jim Connors discusses how to select a solar water heater.

    Jim Connors: Hi! I am Jim Connors with Rheem Manufacturing Company, and today, I am talking about how to select the right water heating technology for your family. Now, I am going to discuss how to select a solar water heating system. How much solar hot water is produced by a solar water heating system is depended on the area where you live. Solar installations are best left to a trained professional who can asses your needs, and can position the unit for optimum energy savings. If you like the idea of buying a solar water heater, but are wondering if you'll be taking a cold shower on rainy days, put your mind to these, backup electric heating elements are standard on most solar tanks and activate if the water temperature in the tank drops below your selected output temperature. In some configurations, your solar water heating system should be used to preheat an existing or second water heater, ensuring sufficient hot water for your needs or providing a significant energy savings year after year. There are two main types of solar water heating systems called passive or active systems. Let's take a few minutes to discuss both. A thermosiphon system is a system that transfers the heat to the water by convection. It's called passive because it does not require the pumps or controllers that active systems use. The system can be mounted outside on the ground or on a roof top. The tank in the solar panels are connected together and work as one. Use a 47-gallon passive solar system with one one solar panel for one to one-and-a-half bathroom home, or an 80-gallon passive system with two solar panels for a two to three bathroom home. An active solar water heating system places only the solar panels on the roof; the tank, pump, controller and other system components are installed inside the home. Although, the active system is a bit more complex than a passive system, for appearances, many home owners and home owner associations prefer to have only solar panels on the roof without the added tank. Use an 80-gallon active system with two solar panels for one or two bathroom homes or 119-gallon active system with two solar panels for a two to three bathroom home. Solar water heating system is often qualified for very generous federal tax credits and many other local rebates and incentives. Check with your tax adviser for more information. I hope this information will help you select the right water heating technology for your family and thanks for watching.