Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot Water
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How efficient are solar hot water systems?

I live in Northwest Pennsylvania, and I would like to know how much these systems cost, how efficient they are, how much space I’ll need on my roof and how long it will take to pay back the initial cost of the system.

since you live up north, you’ll need a 4 panel solar thermal system with at least 108 gallon tank. Not only will you be taking care of your domestic hot water, but you should put a hot water heat coil (looks like a radiator) in your duct to preheat your air. the equipment and labor will cost the installer roughly $6,000, a max of $7,000. thats with the heat coil. now, whatever they tack on to that is up to them. but that is their cost. A domestic system (3 panels because of you being up north, 2 panel if in south) it would run the installer about $5,000 installed including labor. again that is the ‘before’ profit estimate. make sure you facing south and clear of shade. ask for a mixing valve unless you already have one. usually you state and federal tax credits can enable you to cut the cost by about 50%. so if you paid a total of $11,000, you would get about $5,000 back in taxes. of course states vary in tax benefits. payback with hot water coil would be about 8 to 10 years, domestic only about 13, depending on how much you use it. the panels i install are 4 feet by 7 feet. you can get some that are 4 feet by 10 feet, pending the make. these system are 95% efficient compared to a max of 16 to 18% for pv. hope this helps, dont let the installer charge you an arm and a leg. my estimate for the cost for the install is close to dead on, of course they have to make a profit. the job should be completed in no more than 4 days.

**hey mike, solar thermal is used in residential for the soul purpose of pre heating your current hot water heater.


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