Solar water heating is one of the most efficient types of solar technology, directly converting the sun’s radiation into usable heated potable water. This technology is sometimes referred to as ―solar thermal.‖ Several designs are available, providing 50% to 80% of hot water needs and replacing or integrating with any type of existing heater (e.g. electric or gas water heaters).

Solar Alternatives only uses higher grade SRCC OG-300 approved systems, which have been tested to meet the efficiency and quality levels claimed by the manufacturer. Rooftop systems are installed with short standoffs and flashings to provide complete waterproofing, and can optionally be tilted to face the sun’s average position. Most systems are installed with a water-conditioning unit to reduce the effects of hard water on heat transfer units as well as the entire hot water system.

Active Indirect Solar Water Heat

This is the most popular class of SWH, and includes Closed Loop Glycol and Drainback designs. In an Active SWH system, pumps are used to move heat from the collector location to a storage tank, often using a heat transfer fluid (HTF) and heat exchanger (HX). This arrangement avoids any possibility of freeze damage to the system as well as the worst effects of hard water calcification. Active systems tend to be more efficient but require slightly more maintenance.

Passive Solar Water Heat

When a very simple near-zero-maintenance system is desired, or when storage tank space is an issue, Passive SWH systems can provide an elegant and convenient solution. Passive systems do not use pumps or separate collector/tank configurations to move heat into storage, but rely on direct heating and water mains pressure to collect and move heated water.   These systems are by far the simplest, but are less efficient and will have standby losses on cold nights. They are an excellent fit as pre-heater for tankless water heating units however, and will provide many years of maintenance-free service.

Note: solar water heating qualifies for the federal 30% tax credit, but not the Louisiana 50% tax credit.