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December 13, 2005



Ever since I found out that a PV's efficiency goes down as it heats up, I've been thinking that it would make perfect sense to couple a PV with a solar hot water heating system that would act as a heat sink for the PV. It looks like these guys have done just that. Simple and brilliant. Thanks for digging this one up, Jim.


That's great for something like a swimming-pool heater, but for purposes where you want a glazed collector (year-round DHW) the goals of heating water and using the PV at max effciency are in conflict.


Its great for a swimming pool heater, as you point out E-P, or for preheating water that is later sent to a hot water heater (preferably a tankless one) to heat to the desired temp for domestic hot water uses.


It doesn't work as a preheater in most of the north.  Either you glaze the collector to make it warm enough to be useful in winter (and lose efficiency from reflection and overtemperature), or you don't and you have to keep it drained much of the year.

I get the feeling that most people who don't grasp this live in SoCal. ;-)


I would suggest that anyone interested in this system read the SRCC certification report, with particular attention to the heat output under various conditions.
The system can produce some useful heat output under some conditions, but its output would be very limited in northern climates.
SRCC site: http://www.solar-rating.org/RATINGS/RATINGS.HTM
The Dawn Solar collector report is in the Directory of SRCC Certified Collectors



Я думаю, что неэффективный сбор тепловой энергии солнца с помощью крыши эффективен только в солнечной Калифорнии и т.п. Нам,жителям 53 параллели надо думать о более эффективных коллекторах, что бы помочь основной печи на дровах.
I think, that inefficient gathering of thermal energy of the sun with the help of a roof is effective only in solar California, etc. To us, inhabitants of 53 parallels it is necessary to think of more effective collectors what to help the basic furnace on fire wood.
Excuse, for computer English
Republic Belarus


Yes! Keeping in mind the drastic environmental changes and rising fuel prices going Solar is one option open to all at minimal investments. The Solar Water heating systems are so easy to install and most of them come in a Do-it Yourself kit, With the technological advancement the once heavy, bulky hard to move panels are now available widely in light weight easy to carry by one personal only packages. The advancement in technology is not only limited to light weight, but for those concern about the aesthetics of the panels, the good news is that the panels are now available with a variety of trim colors to choose from and can be easily matched to your roof. Saving about $25.oo on ones electricity bill every month on a residence of 4. We all use hot water, as one of our basic needs and what can be a better way, than helping our environment, saving our resources and ourself's some money other than by investing in a Solar Water Heating System.
There are a couple useful websites I'm aware off, that I would like to share with you
1. www.dsireusa.org - is a comprehensive source of information on state, local
, utility ans federal incentives that promote renewable engery ans energy efficieny.
2. www.powerpartnerssolar.com - one of the many manufacturers of certified Solar Water Heating Systems available. One place I saw the light weight panels and trim color options I was mentioning earlier.
Lastly, the local utilites in some areas also provide additional rebates and incentives for adding a Solar Water Heating Sytem to your exisitng water tank.
Keep the look out on. Feel Good and save- money for you, environment for us.


Dear Sir;

We are manufacture of flat solar collector and water heater in China.

Currently we manufacture:

Flat solar collector with copper collector: black Chrome ,blutec eta and black anodized coating

Flat solar collector with aluminum absorber

We are certificated by SOLARKEYMARK, and CE.

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We also manufacacture solar water heater

Attached some picture introduction of our factory

We are professional and flexible and willing to do business with you

If you are interested in our products, please feel free to contact me.

We hope to read from you

With all the best


Creative Solar Energy Co.,Ltd
Web: http://www.creativeintlcn.com
Email: info@creativeintlcn.com
Tel: 0086-757-87278638
Mobile: 0086-013450779260

Solar Panel Builder

It is amazing how something like Solar Panels (which will be the norm in a few years) is still so expensive to build.

I recommend to build your own installation - people don't realize how easy and inexpensive this is. My friends built solar installations and saved BIG.

Matt The Atlanta Roofing Contractor

Nice discussion.

While some of the comments have discussed how this would be impractical in the cold harsh winters of the north, down here in Atlanta our winters are much milder. I think this will catch on as more and more people catch the green wave. As regards DIY... this may be a project some might tackle, but I believe the majority of folks would do well to request a professionals help.


Business Process Management Training,Australia

Its Simple Superb.... Thanks for Blogging.....

Leaky Roof

I've being researching for some new and good ideas for building new house and reading your blog, I found your post very helpful :) . I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading.

Mike Busche

Great idea. I wonder how far south a person would have to be for this to be cost effective? I live in Missouri and this seems to be one of the points that some of these energy efficent ideas work or don't work.

Manchester Roofers

The amount of free energy that goes to waste on our very roofs each and every day is almost criminal. The more information like this that we can get out the better. Great post


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Thanks By,

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