Solar water heaters come in a wide range of shapes and sizes but they all fundamentally tackle the key issue of our reliance on gas and other forms of energy. By reducing your reliance on traditional water heaters such as gas water heaters and electric water heaters, you not only help the environment but also have the potential to save money in the long term.
We’ve put together a list of the ten best solar water heaters on the market right now, along with all of the key information you need to make an informed decision. It may be that a solar water heater offers the best solution to your household needs but it is important to do the relevant due diligence before making a purchase. Read on to find out all you need to know.
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Top 10 Best Solar Water Heaters
You will discover below, the 10 best solar water heaters on the market right now. With each product, we have included the key features and benefits of each so that you can decide if it is right for your individual needs as well as a breakdown of the key pros and cons for each.
1. Duda Solar 200 Liter Water Heater Active Split System Dual Coil Tank Evacuated Vacuum Tubes Hot SRCC Certified
We start our list with this 200-liter dual coil solar water heater and it is easy to see why. Available in a range of sizes from this 200-liter model, all the way up to 1000 liters you will be able to select the perfect size for your household requirements. This water heater comes with 20 Duda solar vacuum tubes, a water tank made from stainless steel, and a working station (with controller and pump). The fact this is a dual coil system means you can heat the water from multiple sources if you wish, utilising the solar power and one other.
As the tank is made with food-grade stainless steel, you can trust that it is safe to use and it has various useful features including an automatic air vent and a thermostatic mixing valve. You will most likely require professional support from a plumber when installing this system, but that is the same for almost all on this list. Also, make sure to check what extra equipment they require you to get for full installation.
2. Sportneer Solar Shower Bag, 20L/5 Gallon Camping Shower Bag Portable Solar Camp Shower Bag with Upgraded Removable Hose & On-Off Switchable Shower Head for Camping Beach Swimming Traveling Hiking
We’ve added this solar water heater to our list as it is such a fantastic option for those who love to travel and enjoy the outdoors. This solar water heater shower bag has a capacity of 20 liters which is more than enough if you’re camping, hiking, or spending a day by the beach. You can also choose from a range of colors which is a nice touch.
When exposed to direct sunlight, it will heat the water in this bag up to 113-degrees Fahrenheit in only 3 hours so you know it will be ready when you need it. Built with premium materials that are both durable and safe to use you can trust it will stand up to the wear and tear of an active lifestyle. This solar water heater has been upgraded to improve the hose, shower head, and other features but it does have a limited capacity of 20 liters so may not be enough for some larger groups travelling.
3. SRCC Certified 30% Tax Credit & Local Rebate Eligible – Complete System – 40 Gallon Solar Water Heater
One of the more stylish solar water heating systems to make it onto our list in our opinion, with this silver complete system that fits onto your roof. With a capacity of 40 gallons, it will do the job for many households but also do your research on water usage before making your purchase.
It doesn’t have any moving parts such as pumps, which reduces the potential for faults to occur and it is one of the easier systems to install. You may not need a plumber to help but due to the fact this goes on the roof, our suggestion is to always be safe and get support unless experienced. This solar water heater utilises high-density polyurethane insulation and this means it has fantastic heat retention, staying at a high temperature long after the sun has set.
4. 4 Panel Standard SW-38 Hybrid Solar Water Heater Kit- Single Row Installation
For those with a water heater in place but in need of a new power source, then this is one of the solar water heater systems for you. This hybrid solar water heating kit is simple, yet effective. By threading the panels together, you can have them in a single row without external pipes and still get plenty of hot water.
Each panel weighs approx 12lbs, measures 24 inches x 24 inches, and doesn’t require any soldering. You will get all fittings and connectors required to install this system, as well as for instructions but it is important to note you will need to provide the water tank, any insulation for the pipes, and a 1/2-inch pipe that goes from the panels to the water heater. This addition to your household is a fantastic way to reduce your electric or gas bills, whilst helping reduce your carbon footprint.
5. Duda Solar 30 Tube Water Heater Collector 45° Frame Evacuated Vacuum Tubes SRCC Certified Hot
Another solar water heater from Duda to make it onto our list and this is a tube design that claims to be more efficient at collecting solar power than traditional panels. You can choose from 15 tubes, 20 tubes, 25 tubes, or 30 tubes depending on your requirements and these systems are installed at a 45-degree angle.
These tubes retain heat better than their panel counterparts as explained above and this means they work more efficiently in colder locations, as well as working more efficiently when the sun is at an angle. Eligible for various rebates and certifications, check your local government for details. A stylish design that doesn’t look out of place in your home, always take the time to check everything arrives in order as there have been some reports of damage during delivery due to the delicate nature of these tubes.
6. Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower,Silver/Black
The second portable solar hot water heater system to make it onto our list of the best solar water heater options on the market right now. Available in either 2.5-gallon, 3-gallon, or 5-gallon it will do a fantastic job for those wanting hot water whilst hiking, camping, or at the beach.
It has a 4-ply construction that not only improves heat retention but also its performance as a hot water system. You should be able to get water up to a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit within 3 hours of this hot water system being in direct sunlight. The manufacturers have really thought about what customers want from a convenient, effective solar water heater, as it comes with a useful carrying handle and toiletry pouch for a washcloth and shampoo bottle.
7. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 2 by 20-Feet, Black
We’ve put this onto our list of the best solar water heating systems on the market because it has been designed for all those wanting an environmentally friendly, economical way to heat your swimming pool. This simple, yet effective system is 2 x 20-feet and can be placed on almost any surface including a roof, fence, or even the ground. Its patented web design helps ensure maximum exposure to the sun.
This simple divide will help increase the temperature of the water in your swimming pool by 6-10 degrees and that means adding extra time to the year that you can use your outdoor pool. One key point to note is that whilst this solar water heater is a universal system, you should check whether additional items or plumbing equipment are needed to connect it to your current system. This will add to the cost and there may be more effective solutions out there for you.
8. 2 Panel Standard SW-38 Hybrid Solar Water Heater Kit- Single Row Installation
You will have seen the 4-panel version of this product on this list but we felt it important to also include the 2-panel version of this solar water heater kit. With a maximum power of 10 watts, it will do a fantastic job for smaller households and will take up next to no room at all. By threading the panels together, you can have them in a single row without external pipes and still get plenty of hot water.
Each panel weighs approx 12lbs, measures 26 inches x 26 inches, and doesn’t require any soldering. You will get all fittings and connectors required to install this system, as well as for instructions but it is important to note you will need to provide the water tank, any insulation for the pipes, and a 1/2-inch pipe that goes from the panels to the water heater. This addition to your household is a fantastic way to reduce your electric or gas bills, whilst helping reduce your carbon footprint.
9. Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heaters, Pack of 1, Black
This is another solar water heater designed for swimming pools now and this pack of 1 is designed to work with a pool that has a maximum size of 12 feet x 24 feet. What is great about this design is that you can group multiple systems together depending on the size of the swimming pool at your home.
This solar water heater will help raise the pool temperature by between 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and this direct flow system utilises a polypropylene heat collector. The first thing to be aware of when it comes to potential downsides of this system is that you need to buy the installation kit separately, which will add to the cost so make sure to do your research on what is required to connect this water heater to your pool correctly.
10. Northern Lights Group SunRain Solar Vacuum Tube Collector- 30 Tube Solar Water Heater
An alternative 30-tube solar water heater from the Northern Lights Group delivers effective solar water that will let you save money on your bills and protect the environment. The manufacturers use vacuum tube technology and provide you with a 5-year warranty so that you can trust the coating used on each layer of the pipe will deliver efficient heat for years to come.
Just like other solar water heating systems on our list, you need to make sure that it connects with your existing water tank and heating system but in most cases, you will be absolutely fine. The tube technology often claims to be better at heat retention than traditional panels, but do take care when installing these and our advice is to always seek professional support for safety. These tubes are also quite delicate so make sure that they arrive in the correct condition and don’t get damaged during installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions about solar water heaters that people ask on our site, along with helpful answers to make the decision-making process a little easier. Always take the time to check a system is the right type for your existing water tank and plumbing if you go for a solar water heater that doesn’t include the water tank.
Does a solar water heater work at night?
In theory, they don’t collect heat at night but they can still be effective water heaters. Many of the solar water heaters on our list will have such good heat retention that you can go to sleep and wake up with a supply of hot water still available.
Check the performance levels of each solar water heater before buying it to make sure that it delivers the temperature you require. For the portable solar water heaters, you will find that they can still keep the temperature for many hours so if you need some hot water whilst travelling it will be there for you.
Will solar water heater work in winter?
Very similar to the point above, yes they will work but this depends on the solar water heater you buy and how it has been made. Many of the best solar water heaters use tubes that have been designed to retain heat for longer, making them a better option for those living in colder climates or who want to ensure they have hot water through the colder months.
It is important to remember that even the best solar water heater will struggle if it isn’t installed correctly or placed in the most effective location. Always seek advice on where best to install it to ensure maximum exposure to sunlight throughout the day, all year-round.
Do I need to buy a water tank as well as a solar water heater?
Some of the solar water heaters on our list come with a water storage tank but the majority will not. They have been designed to work with the vast majority of water tanks and plumbing systems found in households so you shouldn’t have to worry too much. However, it is important to make sure that you check the required connections, pipes, and plumbing equipment needed prior to making a purchase.
In most cases, our advice would be to get a professional plumber to help you, preferably one with experience in solar hot water systems. Having said that, some of the solar water heaters on our list are relatively easy to install, particularly those that are designed for heating swimming pools via solar energy as opposed to electric or gas heaters.
What types of solar water heaters can you get?
There are different types of solar water heaters out there and the best solar water heating system for your individual needs very much depends on your circumstances. The vast majority on our list are of the passive solar water heater type and this means they don’t require an external power source, but some will require additional connectivity and plumbing.
Passive solar water heaters are a fantastic way to reduce your household energy bills, whilst reducing your carbon footprint whether at home or travelling.
In conclusion, there are some fantastic solar water heaters out there on the market right now and it is important to remember that the best solar water heater may not be the biggest or most expensive solution. It is all about what you need from a solar water heater, whether it is to provide some hot water whilst travelling, reduce your electricity bills, or provide hot water to a large household. By doing this analysis of your specific requirements and comparing this to the solar water heaters on the market, you will be able to find the best possible water heater for you.
We hope you’ve found this article useful and please do remember to explore the rest of our website for a wide range of informative articles on everything from water heaters to water filtration, humidifiers, and storage.
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