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Solar Design

SunWater Solar can create system designs from scratch for your project, or help refine plans that you already have.

Solar Thermal Design Services

If you need a commercial solar hot water system design, let SunWater Solar manage the design process and advise you on your project.

Our team of talented designers and engineers can create the plans for a system that will meet your facility’s needs.

We can also refine existing plans so that the system operates with maximum efficiency and meets all expectations.

Solar Thermal Design Considerations

  • Sizing: Solar water heating systems – unlike solar electric (photovoltaic) systems – store and use energy on a daily basis. Therefore, you cannot bank the energy produced in the summer for use in the winter. This is a key concept to bear in mind during the design phase of the project. If the solar thermal system is sized for winter, it will be heavily oversized for summer. This is typically seen in solar thermal-assisted space-heating systems without a summer load.
  • Collector Angle: Because solar thermal energy collected in summer cannot be stored for winter use, the optimal angle of the collectors is typically different from that of a solar electric (photovoltaic) module. If you are designing the system to be “low” visibility and “low” angle, expect poor performance in the winter and exaggerated performance in the summer. Optimal angles differ for different geographic areas and system types.
  • Overheating: System designers must pay attention to load versus production. If the load in the summer is a small fraction of the solar water-heating system’s production, then the system can be stressed and fail prematurely. In addition, the project’s economic payback is reduced since the collectors are lying stagnant during their peak performance season.
  • Storage: Other than pool-heating systems, solar thermal systems require storage, typically anywhere from 1-2 gallons per square foot of solar collector. With water at around 7.4 gallons per cubic foot, finding a space for the solar storage tank must be considered when designing the system.

Title 24 (California)

Whether you are a California business or facility having trouble passing the Title 24 energy audit or would like to pass with flying colors, solar water-heating is the answer. A solar hot water system will allow greater flexibility in the overall building design while keeping the building’s carbon shadow down.

Contact SunWater Solar to learn how our design capabilities can help you.

Making hot water from the sun...

SunWater Solar is a design/build company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in solar water heating systems. The company provides these systems for many types of commercial projects. More»

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