DIY Solar Heating Kits

Solar Hot Water Basics – How It Works

How A Solar Hot Water System Works

Collect The Sun’s Energy

The key component in a Plug-N-Sun DIY Solar Water Heating System are the solar collectors.  Our Solar Heater Kits come with either Evacuated Tube Collectors or Flat Plate Collectors.

In reality, either solar collector is fine for most DIY Solar Water Heating Systems – however, our evacuated tube solar collectors are geared more specifically for cooler, more moderate climates.  If you have questions about which solar collectors to choose, please contact one of our product specialists today for advice.

The job of the solar collectors is to capture the Sun’s energy and convert it into heat.  This is the critical first step in any Solar Water Heating System.

Once the sun’s energy has been captured by the solar collectors, the heat is transferred within the solar collector to a glycol solution (Heat Transfer Fluid), which is used to transport and transfer the heat to the hot water system within your home.

A few simple tips for getting the best performance from your solar collectors:

  • Solar collectors can be installed on the ground, or on a roof
  • Solar collectors should be installed facing towards the South
  • Solar collectors should be unshaded from 9am – 4pm (minimum) everyday
  • Solar collectors should always be secure to prevent damage

Transport Energy To The System

Once the Heat Transfer Solution (HTF) has been heated within the solar collectors, it is transported from the solar collectors down to your solar storage tank, or solar heat exchanger.

The HTF is transported to your solar storage tank or solar heat exchanger through our revolutionary Pre-Insulated, Flexible Line Set.  This unique piping system has several key benefits (click here to see the benefits of our pre-insulated line set) that make it the perfect plug-n-play solution for your solar water heating system.

Our SunFlex Tubing is made from stainless steel, is flexible (for easy installation), features plug-n-play end connections (eliminates the need for soldering during installation) and comes pre-insulated (to slash installation time and costs).  Additionally, each run of SunFlex Tubing includes both the solar loop (hot side) and return loop (cold side) in one easy to install package (to further cut installation time, hassle and costs).

For more information: Pre-Insulated Flexible Line Set

Heat & Store Hot Water

Our Plug-N-Sun Solar Water Heating Systems are available with two great options for transferring and storing your solar hot water.  Both options are incredibly affordable, cost-effective and deliver incredible system performance and reliability.

External Heat Exchanger:

By using a Solar Heat Exchanger, you get a very simple to install solar water heating system, an incredible price and top-rated system performance and efficiency.  The external solar heat exchanger is installed near your existing water heater.  The water within your water heater is run through the heat exchanger.  At the same time, the solar loop is sending heated HTF (Heat Transfer Fluid) through the heat exchanger.  The heat from the HTF is transferred to the cold water.  This allows you to cut the amount of electricity, natural gas or propane being used by your water heater.

Solar Storage Tank:

The second heat transfer and storage option is the use of a dedicated solar storage tank.  Our solar storage tanks feature internal copper-coil heat exchangers, dual-wall construction, internal insulation and an external insulating sleeve for added heat-loss protection.

The solar storage tank can be used by itself with a backup electric heater.  Or, the solar storage tank can be used in-line with your existing water heater for extra storage capacity and heat transfer capability.

Your Solar Hot Water Store product specialist can easily help you decide whether a Plug-N-Sun Solar Water Heating Kit with a solar heat exchanger or a solar storage tank is right for you.

For more information: Solar Heat Exchangers or Solar Storage Tanks

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Become An Installer

Interested in becoming a professional solar installer? Our partner SunMaxx Solar ones one of the best solar hot water installation training programs in the US (including NABCEP certification).

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Getting Started Guide

Interested in getting your own Plug-N-Sun solar hot water system? Let our "Getting Started With Solar Hot Water" help you get off on the right track right away with all the info you need.

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Installation Gallery

Check out these great images of Plug-N-Sun solar hot water systems and SunMaxx solar collectors and components installed and at work on homes and businesses like yours.

See Plug-N-Sun In Action

Q&A Videos

Let our team, and the SunMaxx educators help you understand everything you need to know about choosing, sizing and installing a Plug-N-Sun solar hot water system in our video series.

Everything You Need To Know

The Solar Hot Water Store is proud to be the official online retailer of Plug-N-Sun pre-packaged solar hot water and DIY solar heating systems and kits. All of our systems are designed and built with SunMaxx's industry-leading solar collectors and system components, ensuring a quality, cost-effective and reliable system for years to come.

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