Basic Solar System Components
Solar hot water systems are made up of collectors, storage tanks, piping, controls, and in some cases, pumps. Active systems use pumps to circulate water through the system. Passive systems have no pumps or controls and rely on street pressure to provide flow through the solar panel.

The most commonly used collector is the flat-plate collector. It is an insulated, weatherproofed box, made of metal, containing a dark absorber plate beneath a translucent cover (typically tempered, low-iron glass). Copper piping is used to make up the "waterways" or body of the collector. Contact us to learn which collector is best suited for your application.

Most solar hot water systems require a well-insulated storage tank. Many systems use converted electric water heater tanks for storage or plumb the solar storage tank in series with a conventional water heater.

Controls, Circulator
A differential temperature controller monitors the temperatures at the solar collector outlet and at the storage tank. When the collectors are warmer than the tank, the control turns on a circulator which circulates water through the collectors and back to the water heater located in or adjacent to the storage tank.

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