Solar Water Heating

Heating water with solar energy has never been easier. And with rebates and tax credits from utilities and state and federal governments, it’s even more affordable. Over 1.5 million homes and business in the U.S. have installed solar water heating systems, and surveys show more than 94% of them consider the systems a good investment.

Cut Energy Costs by 50%

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates the average American household spends between $400 and $600 annually to heat water for showers, dishes, laundry and more. Supplenergy™ solar water heating systems from Stitt Energy Systems can reduce that expense by 50% to 80% using free, clean, renewable energy. 

Supplenergy™ Systems

Supplenergy™ systems are active, closed-loop water heating systems that are easy and safe to use in both hot and cold climates.

  • Active systems use one or more mechanical devices to move fluid through the system.
  • Closed-loop systems circulate heat transfer fluid inside a continuous, unbroken copper tubing running from the collector down to the storage tank. The fluid is kept isolated inside the tubing and never mixes with the water in the tank.
 

How They Work

  • One or more flat plate solar collectors are installed on a south, southeast or southwest facing roof.

A flat plate collector is a metal box with a tempered glass cover that contains a black heat absorber plate, layers of insulation, and copper tubing. 

  • The collectors absorb solar radiation and convert it to heat.
  • A metal absorber plate located beneath the tempered glass cover absorbs the heat and transfers it to the copper tubing and heat transfer fluid
  • A small photovoltaic (PV) module attached to the collector generates DC electricity from sunlight to power a 12-volt circulation pump
  • The pump circulates the heat transfer fluid throughout the system (from the storage tank to the collector)
  • Water in the storage tank absorbs heat from the hot, fluid-filled copper tubing.
  • The cooled fluid circulates back up to the collector to be reheated.
  • Fluid continues to circulate through the system until the sun goes down or clouds shade the PV panel.
  • On cloudy days or when demand is unusually high, a sensor turns on a backup electric element to heat water

Sizing A System

The number of people in your household, the amount of hot water you use, and the orientation and pitch of your roof help determine system size.

A single 4x10 foot collector panel and an 80-gallon tank can heat and store enough water for three to four people. Two 4x10 panels and a 120-gallon tank can supply enough for up to eight people. A back-up electric heating element in the top of the storage tank makes sure there's enough hot water even when you have a house full of guests or days of snow or cloudy weather. Just set a timer to activate the element, and it will heat the water automatically. Or choose a storage tank with an integrated on-demand water heater. Either option ensures a constant supply of hot water regardless of demand and amount of sunlight available.

Facing solar thermal collectors true south at a 45º pitch is ideal, but if they face a generally southern direction at a pitch of 30º to 60º the system will still achieve nearly 85% efficiency. Collectors can also be mounted on a south-facing wall or on the ground close to the house if suitable roof space isn’t available.

Supplenergy™ residential systems come in two sizes:

  • Model 80-40 is suitable for families up to four, and
  • Model 120-80 for families of up to eight.

Both systems offer performance and value. They come complete with a comprehensive Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manual and have a lifespan of 30+ years! That’s double the lifespan of a standard gas or electric water heater. All solar water heating systems need to be checked and maintained, but when properly installed they operate reliably for decades.

Environmentally Friendly!

Utility companies either burn coal and gas or use nuclear energy to produce the electricity that heats most household water. That results in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain, and increasing stockpiles of nuclear waste.

Use pollution-free solar energy to heat household water, reduce utility bills, and reduce our reliance on pollution-generating electricity. Plus, they're immune to fuel shortages and price hikes. Lock in on energy savings with a Supplenergy™ solar water heating system! Contact us for a quote today.