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Solar Hot Water & Solar Heating Basics

Solar Hot Water & Heating Basics

Solar Hot Water Heating Technology made its first major market move in the 1970s and 80s, but the technologies available at that time were inefficient, expensive, and offered very little return and long payback periods. In the years since then, however, the technology has entered a second generation, and today’s technology is a much more affordable and viable option for most Americans.

Today’s second generation Solar Hot Water Heaters offer dramatically improved efficiency, very good cost-effectiveness, and the price is much lower, allowing for cheaper, more widely available installations, and the return on today’s Solar Hot Water Heaters, and the return on the initial investment has been significantly improved over the last 20 plus years.

There are two major types of collectors; Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors and Flat Plate Solar Collectors. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks when compared to the other, and when compared to traditional water and home heating fuel sources.

Flat Plate Solar Collectors are typically less expensive and less laborious with installation than Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors. It is highly recommended that you consider your application, location and temperature requirements for your system before choosing your collector.  Flat plate collectors can be used in just about any location in the USA for domestic hot water and low temperature space heating.  They are much more sustainable and durable leading to a much longer life cycle and increased ROI than the evacuated tubes.  The lower cost of these collectors makes them a much wiser investment  than spending the additional money with Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors where the higher temperature requirement is not needed.

Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors are said to be more efficient in cold cloudy climates. Their 360 degree collector design allows them to gather much more sunlight in low-light conditions, and earlier and later in the day when the sun is at angles that would not be utilized by a traditional Flat Plate Solar Collector. However, Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors are more costly than Flat Plate Solar Collectors (often 50% higher), but this initial cost could be quickly recouped by their increased efficiency in colder cloudier climates, and wider range of climates that they are able to work in. Its very important to consider the temperature requirements of the application when choosing your collector.

Today, Solar Hot Water Heaters from SunMaxx are used for a variety of applications in locations all around the world. Our customers use their SunMaxx for:

  • Domestic Home Hot Water Heating
  • Domestic Radiant/Space Home Heating
  • Large Residential Hot Water Heating – Hotels, Apartments, Retirement Homes, Resorts, etc
  • Commercial Hot Water Needs – Office Buildings, Carwashes, Laundromats, and more
  • Municipal Hot Water Needs – Libraries, Government Buildings, Hospitals, and more
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