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solar hot water system

Shop for Solar Water HeatersSolar Water Heating Systems

Solar Thermal Water Heating (also called domestic hot water) is a simple, reliable, and cost-effective technology that harnesses the sun's energy to provide for the hot water needs of homes and businesses. A Federal Rebate allows you receive a tax credit worth 30% of the system cost! This is the best time to reap the numerous benefits of solar power!

The different types of solar water heaters work in every climate but some are better suited and more efficient in certain climates. Below are Solar Direct's recommendations.


Passive Systems for warm climates


5 stars

• Easy to install/maintain
• No moving parts;
• Reliable, lasts longer
• Uses no electricity;
• Works during blackouts
• Costs less

The PASSIVE SYSTEM is the most cost efficient water heater and it works well in the entire area shown above. This system should be the only logical choice for the southern states as it provides 80-90% of solar water heating needs in the darker area shown above, 60 to 70% in moderate climate areas and 50% in the northern colder states. A Passive System can only be subject to freezing in the areas where hard freeze months exist, and drainage would be used to protect it during these periods.



Active Open Loop solar water heater for moderate climates


• Uses moving parts;
• Pumps, valves and controllers assist in the prevention of freezing
• Uses electricity; will not function during blackouts

ACTIVE - DIRECT Open Loop System provides 60% to 80% of water heating needs in moderate climate areas and 50% to 70% in colder areas. Pumps circulate household water through the collectors and into the home. 


Active Closed Loop for Freeze Climates


• Uses moving parts;
• Pumps, valves and controllers assist in the prevention of freezing
• Uses electricity; will not function during blackouts

ACTIVE - INDIRECT Closed Loop System with Flat-Plate Collectors provides 60% to 80% of water heating needs in moderate climate areas and 50% to 70% in colder areas. This system can also be designed to handle space heating needs. Closed Loop systems are required for freeze protection in areas where hard freeze months exist. Pumps circulate a non-freezing, heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger.


Drainback or Evacuated tube type Collectors


• Heavy-duty residential and commercial applications including:
• Water heating
• Radiant floor heating
• Space Heating

ACTIVE - INDIRECT Close Loop System with Evacuated-Tube Collectors is the best choice for the real cold parts of the country. It provides up to 100% of water heating needs and 50% to 60% of space heating needs in the area shown on the map above. It may also be a good choice in Moderate climates where space heating needs may be significant.

Please contact us for more information.

solar water heater zone map

ProgressivTube solar water heater area  

5 stars Best Choice!
PASSIVE Solar Systems

• Best choice for warm and moderate climates
• Easy to install and maintain
• No moving parts; more reliable and last longer
• Uses no electricity; will function during blackouts
• Cost less than other systems


Active Open Loop Systems area  

ACTIVE - DIRECT (Open Loop) Solar Systems
with Flat-Plate Collectors

• Work well in climates where it rarely freezes
• Uses moving parts: pumps, valves and controllers
• Pumps circulate water through collectors
• Uses electricity; will not function during blackouts


Active Closed Loop solar water heater area  

ACTIVE - INDIRECT (Closed Loop) Solar Systems
with Flat-Plate Collectors

• Well suited for climates prone to freezing
• Uses moving parts: pumps, valves and controllers
• Pumps circulate non-freezing heat-transfer fluid
• Uses electricity; will not function during blackouts


Trendsetter solar water heater area  

ACTIVE - INDIRECT (Closed Loop) Solar Systems
with Evacuated-Tube Collectors

• Heavy-duty, commercial, and additional applications:
• Water heating, Radiant floor heating, Space Heating

Please contact us for more information.


Fully installed solar water heater systems available

Need help or want a Fully Installed System?

We have over 35,000 satisfied customers served since 1986!
Solar Direct has over 25 years of experience in commercial and residential solar hot water product installation. Services are available throughout the U.S. with our national installer network.

Contact Us for installation and product information, our team of Product Solution Specialists are standing by to take your calls.



Compare Solar to Conventional Water Heater

FREE energy from the Sun
COSTLY gas or electric
Annual operating cost: $50 Annual operating cost: $500+
Storage Capacity: 80-120 gal Storage Capacity: 40-50 gal
Life expectancy: 15-30 years Life expectancy: 8-12 years
Lifetime operating cost: $1,000 Lifetime operating cost: $10,000
Does NOT pollute environment Depletes fossil fuels
Increases equity in your home No added value to your home
25% return on your investment No return on utility payments
Protection from future increases At mercy of utilities/government
Hot water during blackouts! No hot water during blackouts


Benefits of Solar Water Heating


Solar Water Heaters Work In Every Climate

Today's Solar hot water technologies can be operated efficiently and affordably in any climate. Systems are specifically designed for various climatic and geographical areas of the country.

Reduce Energy Costs

By installing a Solar water heating system, a typical household can meet 50 to 80 percent of their hot water needs. In southern climates, a SWH unit can meet nearly 100 percent of a household's hot water needs.

Proven Efficient Technology

Currently there are more than 300,000 Solar Water Heater units installed across the United States (excluding swimming pool applications) and because these systems have been proven efficient and reliable, the number of installations continues to grow by the thousands every year.

Improved Environment

Reduced demand for fossil fuels will improve the environment by reducing air and water pollution as well as the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming. And though they cost a little bit more up front to install, a carbon free Solar Water Heating system will save consumers money in the long run as the fuel source (the sun's energy) will always be free.


Types of Solar Water Heaters

Solar Water Heater InstallationThere are two basic types of Solar Water Heaters:  Passive Solar Water Heaters (for warm climates) & Active Solar Water Heaters (for moderate and cold climates).  Active systems utilize a circulating pump and some type of temperature control. Passive systems do not have any moving parts and rely on the basic principle of physics - that hot water rises & cold water falls.

Active systems all function basically the same; however, there are different configurations depending on your climate zone. Passive systems come in two basic types: Thermosyphon & Batch.  Each system has its distinct advantages.


Commercial Solar Water Heater

Commercial Solar Hot Water Applications

Condominium, hotel, nursing    
Resort, marina, sports complex
University, research facility
Park and recreational site,
  summer camp
Factory and Industrial site
Farm and agricultural site
▪ Remote and off grid location


The Passive Solar Water Heater outperforms other systems; EVEN IN COLDER CLIMATES! 

Active Systems
Passive System
Parts and Supplies


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