Solar water heating (Types of collectors) Northern CA


There are many options available when considering solar water heating in Northern CA. In this post we’ll go over the kinds of collectors, and benefits of each. For more information Call Optimized Plumbing & Piping at 209-743-9821.

Flat Plate Collectors 

Flat plate solar collectors are the most used type for solar water heating. They last a long time, and work well. These collectors can come in many different sizes to meet your needs but are normally 4-6″ in depth. They have a frame, a glass front, and are insulated on the sides, and the back. Normally copper is used for the heating coils. It is very important to make sure the glazing on these collectors is glass and not plastic (plastic will not hold up in direct sunlight).

Evacuated Tube Collectors

Evacuated tube solar collectors were invented to solve a problem of flat plate collectors which is : there is no way to insulate the front side (the glass). There is a collector plate inside of a glass tube that has a vacuum pulled while it is formed. This vacuum is what insulates the collector plates. Because of the insulating effect of the vacuum higher temperatures are are possible. These higher temperatures can be a problem because it can boil the glycol solution that is used to heat water.

Integral Collector Storage

This type of collector uses the tank as the collector. Many times they are painted black to absorb the sun’s heat. The tank can sit inside a black box which is insulated on all sides except the front which is glazed. Integral collectors are a good choice for solar water heating if freezing conditions are not a concern. This makes them a poor choice for many areas of Northern California including Sonora, Angels Camp, Copperopolis, and Groveland. The weight can also be a problem if trying to mount them on a roof because they can weigh over 400 LBS when full of water.

Call Optimized Plumbing & Piping at 209-743-9821 for more information on installing a solar water heater in northern California.