You get into the house, head to your room, ready to have a bath; you turn on the shower and what comes out is freezy arctic water. Wouldn’t you be shocked and downright disappointed?
Still not convinced? Here are the benefits of having a solar hotwater panel for your home, followed by solar water heaters’ significant types.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Solar Hot Water Panel
Solar energy is free-of-charge
The first notable advantage of having solar water heaters is the energy they use, which is the sun. We all know that no one pays for the sun to appear, and so it is a free and every blazing utility.
And the fact that your water heater is using solar is how the water heater gets juice. You enjoy free sun and open water heating services all year round.
They reduce your monthly utility bill
Almost half the population suffers through the turmoil of paying hefty bills because of using heat only. But if you have a solar water heater, this will be a thing of the past.
Once you install the panels or any other solar-enabled heating devices to be covered in this and other solar water heaters reviews, you will notice your bills diminishing in value. And this translates to more savings.
Solar energy is eco-friendly
The sun is a natural element, and it does not utilize any fossil fuel or pollutant to get produced. The raw sun power is pure, and this extends to you.
When you use solar power, you are essentially reducing the need for one more ounce of fossil fuel released into the air.
Traditional forms of heating water, using gas, charcoal, or firewood, can be detrimental to the environment, and so as you use the sun, you are in some way saving the planet.
Solar water heaters are low maintenance
If you get the installation part right, then you will be met with years and years of service with a well-functioning solar-powered water heater.
Regular monitoring, which can be at least twice a year to ensure everything is going smoothly, will give you even more than twenty years of service.
Ensure you keep the scaling and corrosion under control, and you will have no issues for ages.
Varieties of Solar Water Heaters
These systems have water pumped inside a storage container, and the water gets heated while the sun shines.
The water is then kept in the heating circulation at a constant temperature where the system turns on and off when the water cools and heats, respectively.
They are the best to be installed in areas that get too cold, and the temperatures fluctuate unprecedented.
Thermosiphon water heaters
Here, no pumps are utilized, but water flows to the collection of vessels by convection. The collecting container is placed at a lower level to the storage, thus creating a conducive siphoning mechanism.
The water’s heat depends on the air-water, the fluid movement, and the heat radiated by the sun. This means that the hotter the weather, the hotter the water.
Indirect water heaters
These are the solar water heater systems that the heated fluid is freeze-protected by being enclosed in a vessel and kept in a closed loop where the water gets heated by a heat exchanger.
This is one other type of indirect heating system which involves air. The collector’s vessel has air accumulate in it, and the atmosphere is baked. A fan then pushes this air through an air-to-water heat exchanger, which heats the vessel’s water.
Direct-down water heater
Lastly, there is the direct-down type where water is rotated through an enclosed hoop, and the water is heated with a heat exchanger. Even when there is no sunshine, the water gets drained downward by gravity, and the conventional hoop keeps the water hot or warm for a while.
Now that you know the boons of solar water heaters plus the significant types, now have a look at six of the best solar water heaters below.
Read on to understand what they are, how they work, and even better, get a basis to select the best for your home.
Best Solar Water Heater Systems – Reviews For 2021
Best Solar Water Heater System: Duda Water Heater
This heating apparatus is a white and blue cylindrical vessel with around 200 liters of aqua, enough to proffer steaming water to your dwelling for everything you require hot water for.
As the overall best solar water heater, the Duda has commendable characteristics that make it ranking deserving. The following narration is evidence of precisely that.
Water heater facets
The Duda water heating device has a solar void piping, stainless steel as a storage container, an operational panel with controls, and a pump. It also has an automatic air vent, an immersive water pump, and a thermostatic blending faucet to regulate and eradicate scalding.
Additionally, there is a two-gallon propylene Glycol vessel that is food-grade and safe. This water heating apparatus has an eight-gallon expansion capability, which may come in handy to prevent stagnation.
This is a protective measure to corroborate that your set-up remains in top shape even if the calefaction energy exceeds the maximum capacity.
- The first notable boon of this apparatus is that it comes with a complete package of all you need for full installation in its solar hot water heater kit. You will not need any more extra purchases to get the water heater working.
- This Duda solar water heater is SRCC-certified, thus has clearance to be utilized in a dwelling without the user having to pay hefty taxation payments.
- The Duda storage tank stores a lot of water that can be used for multiple functions around the abode. The expenditure that would have been used in paying for gas or electricity is eliminated.
- It is the ideal solar water heater for cold temperatures since it is a winter-resistant solar water heater.
- If you happen to be a traveling household, this may not be the piece for your dwelling. The expansion container will help regulate the heated water, but it can only do it for a couple of days. For a week or so, it may cause a problem.
- Installing this set-up is complex and will need experts to get the right job completed.
Clients are delighted with this piece as it heats the water fast and keeps it warm longer. It works nicely with full, shaded, or partial sun radiance. Traveling clients prefer using other water heaters due to heat expansion capability, which does not favor them.
As the best solar water heater on this list, the Duda has quite an array of high-points, which points out that it is the cream of the crop. It operates nicely, looks great, and has all you require for installation. So what more do you demand? It’s a great deal— go for it.
Runner up: Sunbank Solar Water Heater
As the second-best, the Sunbank also has very admirable features that make it a superior solar heater. All you need to know about this device is highlighted in the coming sections.
Water heater facets
This water heater is a passive thermosyphon water heater. Unlike the previous type, it is a non-frill system, meaning that it has fewer installation procedures. It consists of a 40-gallon stainless steel water storage container, fifteen evacuated solar tube collectors, and a non-corrosive bracket.
The bracket has polyurethane insulation that is high density to optimize heat retention. The 40-gallon vessel can be upgraded to double its capacity for abodes with many people.
It does not have pumps, glycol heating liquid, nor any movable parts.
- Passive thermosyphon solar water heaters are affordable.
- This heating apparatus is easy to install. Therefore, if you follow the manual to the latter, you can do it as a DIY and get it working in a few hours.
- The water tank’s upgradability is a commendable feature that allows you to change things without buying a whole new unit.
- The maintenance of this unit is very manageable and low-cost.
- It has a ten-year guarantee on the collector.
- It can be installed on the roof or the ground, as long a the sunbeams reach the pipes.
- This piece is mostly useful in locations with plenty of sunshine.
- People with bigger homes ought to go for a dual system to get proper and sufficient service.
Most customers who have purchased this solar water heating unit are very pleased with what this machine can do. First of all, it has saved them a few bucks on installation money. Secondly, it works superbly. And thirdly, maintenance is a breeze.
On the flip side, growing families have had to order an extra tank to ensure the whole household gets enough water. The customer support team has been given a five for being helpful and offering help where need be.
Whenever you see a company takes care of their clients with the utmost care, you right away learn to trust the brand, and Sunbank has just done that.
In a nutshell, they have a great product that offers small to medium households a well, functioning solar water heater, thus deserving the number two pick on this list.
Alternative: Misol Solar Water Heater
This is yet another thermosyphon solar water heater with just as admirable facets ideal for small to medium-sized dwellings.
Water heater facets
This solar powered water heater (see also ‘Best Water Heater Stand For Any Heater Out There’) is a stand-alone unit that can be moved from spot to spot thanks to its portable, sturdy frame. The ten vacuum tubes are made of glass with 50cm and 29mm in radius.
The manifold’s exterior covering is aluminum alloy with a thickness of 1.8mm, and it has ten holes for the pipes. In addition to that, there is an insulator, which is rock wool. The piece gets to you in parts, and you have to do the assemblage on your own.
- It is small and compact and a portable solar water heater that can be moved to face the sun at whatever time of the day.
- The assembling part gives you a chance to try out a DIY project, a learning experience.
- It is perfect for a small household and provides ample hot water throughout the day.
- For individuals who are not fans of DIY projects, this dissembled Misol heating device is a letdown. You do not get an instructional guide to do the assembly, which can be a headache.
Clients using this unit were happy with what the machine does; the only issue arose where it came unassembled. People then have to get their hands occupied to get the pieces together or hire an expert to do the same.
The Misol portable solar water heater is one that will serve a small household sufficiently. And this makes it a worthy alternative for the other two solar water heaters described above.
Best Pool Solar Heater: SmartPool S601
Heated pools are much better than cold-watered pools. You and your children can swim even when the weather isn’t so warm, and it is very relaxing for an evening dip. The SmartPool S601 has the best collection of solar water heating panels that will get the job done efficiently.
Water heater facets
This pool water heater uses a polypropylene collector to keep the water inside your swimming pool or jacuzzi warm. The solar panels are 80 square feet of space to have all the panels installed, and they need direct light from the sun.
Each panel is 4 feet wide and 20 feet long, and they can collectively raise the water temperature by four to six-degree celcius. To install the panel, you need an assembly kit, which is sold independently.
- The panels can be installed both horizontally and vertically, and this maximizes the sun rays capturing capability.
- The panels are made of polypropylene, which has long-term permanence and captures a significant of the sun’s rays.
- There is an awe-inspiring reel system that proffers you the liberty to apply and remove your solar panels.
- It works for both in-ground pools and over-the ground swimming pools.
- The package arrives, and you must find assemblage instructions for yourself. This here is a letdown.
The majority of users are satisfied with this technology piece as it gets the job done well. There are a few isolated issues with the devices, but nothing that cannot be solved. Most of the feedback on major solar heater water reviews (see also ‘The Best Solar Pool Heaters‘) attest that it is an excellent water heater for your swimming pool.
The SmartPool S601 version of a pool solar water heater deserves the best pool water heater’s position since it can heat a pool sufficiently. And judging from the customer feedback, it being the winner has evidence backing it up.
Solar pool heater runner up: SunHeater S120U
This is the second-best pool solar water heater that is exceptional only because of the traits it brings forth.
Water heater facets
The SunHeater S129U is a panel solar water heater that is easy to install. This water heater works incoherently with the already existing water pump the pool is built with, minimizing extra costs. It functions okay with a sand filter as well as salt-water systems. It raises the water in the bank to a reasonable level that one can swim in comfortably.
- It has an easy installation procedure that anyone can follow through.
- It can be incorporated with the features you already have in your pool area; this lowers the initial cost of things you may need to get the job done.
- You can install it on the ground or the roof, as long as the sun rays reach the water heating panel.
- Some units have reached the clients broken, but that may be pointed to the carrier’s fault.
The customer reviews are majorly on the positive side since the product operates as it should, and it offers service for a long time. One of the few with negatives attest that the solar water heater did not raise his swimming pool’s temperature as he would have loved. He lived in the desert area, and he expected a better result.
To finish off, he mentioned he would try a few adjustments and gauge the results then. All in all, despite his negative review, he seemed hopeful that the water heater would work with a few modifications.
SunHeater solar water heater has a lot of positive reviews with a few negatives. But that does not take away the fact that it is still a superior brand in the industry with great water heaters like this one.
Best portable solar water heater: Outdoor Hygiene Shower Camp Water Heater
One of the horrors of camping in the woods has to take a cold shower. And that is why most campers prefer taking sponge baths using water— they have a heater utilizing a stove or cooker.
This product will wow any camper or someone who enjoys the outdoors and still get the privilege to take a warm shower. And the best thing is that you spend almost zero since the energy source is the sun.
This is perhaps the most innovative piece of tech yet. Who would have thought there would ever be portable solar water heaters besides immersive water heaters (see also ‘Best Immersion (Bucket) Water Heater For 2021‘)? Well, Outdoor Hygiene has engineered the best portable solar water heater in the market. And here are all the details of the Outdoor Hygiene shower camp water heater.
Water heater facets
Since it has been built for the outdoor, the exterior cover is a flexible TPU food-grade fabric with reinforced seams, and the package carries five gallons of water. The bag is see-through, which allows you to see the level of water. Attached to it is a superior quality water hose with a press and hold shower nozzle and a mesh pocket at the front.
The handle is heavy-duty, and the water connector is a click-on that can be attached to most pipes to drain water into the vessel. Once full, you simply lay the bag in direct sunlight, and the sun will warm the water.
- You can carry this portable solar water heater to wherever you are going. Be it the beach or the mountains.
- The water can be sued for showering, cooking, and washing utensils and fruits.
- Cleaning this device is very simple.
- It is lightweight, only weighing 630 grams making it hardly noticeable in your camping gear.
- It could serve you three showers.
- The only downside is that you may have to carry it with water, which can be extra weight. But if your destination has water, you bring it empty.
All the customers had to say about this portable solar water heater is as advertised. It gets the job done and offers the best service. One client termed it the best portable solar water heater they have ever used.
Without a doubt, the outdoor hygiene shower camp water heater has exceeded our expectations by becoming one of the best solar water heater that requires zero-installations nor extra movable parts apart from what comes with the packaging. It is an efficient and world-class product.
Solar Water Heaters FAQ
What to look for in a solar water heater system?
The first thing to look for in a solar water heater is the type of installation it requires. As seen above, some are portable, and others must be installed stationary to function.
If you are looking into getting a movable piece, then get a movable one. And if you are always at home and need one for the household, select one permanently installed and maintained periodically.
The second thing to consider is the size of the solar water heater concerning the household you will use it in. For instance, if your home is big and has many occupants, then taking a water heater with a big tank and the capacity to heat the water enough for everyone should be considered.
The third thing to note is the space you have to install the solar water heater system. For example, if you look at swimming pool solar water heaters, you must measure the area you would like to install the heater and get one that fits that spot.
Next, you look at the features of the solar heater. Admittedly, all the devices mentioned in this piece have their boons, and snags and those are what you should look into before purchasing any.
Also, go for ones with expandability if you see a possibility of adding more solar water heaters users. Lastly, look at the pricing and go for one that lies within your budget. Regardless, pick one that favors you the most.
How much water do you need?
The water volume will depend on the collector tank’s size plus the storage unit attached to the solar water heater. Some will take as little as five gallons, while others will hold as much as 200 liters and more. Most times, you will find these specifications on the particular solar water heater.
How do solar water heaters work?
Generally, solar water heaters convert solar energy to heat energy using a sophisticated process. The conversion is a given, but the kind of mechanism a particular water heater users may differ in technique to another water heater. They use collectors and circulation systems to get the job done.
Do solar water heaters work in the winter?
Yes, they do. However, they might not heat the water as fast as they would if the climate was warmer. Solar water heaters use the sun’s light beams, making their way into the atmosphere despite the cold environment. As long as there is light, there is solar energy.
The issue most times is if the tank can keep the water warm. And the solution is that some systems have freeze protections, which facilitate that the water remains warm and suitable for usage. So rain or sunshine, solar water heaters work just fine.
Cost breakdown of solar water heating system
The amount you will spend will depend on the following:
- How much water you use.
- The solar water heater’s operational performance.
- The availability of the sun
After you have assessed the three factors, you can proceed to make a quantitative comparison and breakdown. But one point to add is to measure how efficient the solar water heaters is by looking at the drop in expenditure on your utility bill. Ideally, you will see a reduction in almost half, and that should tell you how much you are saving.
The breakdown should include the water heater’s energy-efficient and other extras like water pumping that may use electricity. In addition to that consideration, look at the installations and maintenance fees, this will vary according to your solar water heater’s type and size.
What is the best temperature that you can get from a solar water heater?
The optimum temperature will depend on the intent you want to use the water for, plus the heating apparatus’s capability. For example, some solar water heaters have thermostat gauges that allow you to dictate how hot you would like the water to get to.
Most solar water heaters will generally produce water with a raised temperature for as little as four-degrees to a maximum of 48-degrees Celcius. Although for safety reasons, the best temp is around 30 to 40-degrees Celcius.
Why are solar water heaters great for swimming pools?
They are ideal for swimming pools, primarily if the average water temperature inhibits swimming comfortably. First of all, swimming in arctic cold water is not enjoyable, and it could even lead to serious medical complications. And so that is one reason, to make swimming practice.
Secondly, it allows adults and children alike to enjoy the sport better regardless of the weather.
All the six solar-powered water heaters that have been highlighted in this piece have surpassed any of our expectations.
Each is a giant in its line of products and gets the job done. By using any of the six, you are bound to enjoy a warm shower, wash your dishes with hot water to remove the oil, swim in cold weather, and have a warm shower in the jungle.
As seen, each product has its perks and downsides, and it’s your job to find one that matches your expectations best. And to help you make a sound decision, we have included an unbiased customer feedback section and the final verdict. It is now up to you.
After deciding on a solar water heater, the next step is to get it installed by the best if they require installations. And if they do not, you are good to go. All in all, always remember to be safe while using these water heaters, keep the water temperature at a safe range, and always clean and maintain them periodically.
That is the only way you will have a solar water heater serve you for the longest time.