Tom Veatch

... Design Elements for Solar Water Heating (SWH) systems ...

This design tutorial concentrates on explaining how to design a solar heating system for domestic potable water. Solar water heating for space heating, and swimming pool water heating are only briefly discussed here.

Solar Heating of Potable Water

Solar Water Heating can be thought of as a pre-heating system which reduces the burden on your other (now merely a backup) water heater. Often the sun should give you plenty of heat, and your backup system may add no more heat to it, and indeed your system might even have to dilute very-hot solar-heated water with cold water to keep it in the right temperature range for showers and lavatories. But sometimes there may not be enough sun to heat the water completely, and then the backup can help finish the heating job. Normally the backup heater can be much smaller and use much less energy than it would without the solar system in place. You should be able to save a fat percentage of your water heating bill through installing, operating, and maintaining a properly designed solar water heating system.

Here are the design elements for such a system.