water heating is a long proven, reliable technology with potential to
save up to 15% of a home's total energy usage at a low up front cost.
best use for a solar water heater is to preheat domestic hot water, the
more occupants the better (minimum of 2). A solar heating system can be
combined to provide inputs to a radiant in floor heating system and in
some cases to indoor pools.
Merlyn Power is a turnkey systems provider of solar water heaters, using
a variety of well-made equipment built in Canada. We sell and install
packaged systems for simple domestic preheat or built to suit for combined,
or larger applications.
Enerworks Inc., an
Ontario company, is an innovative developer of solar thermal technology.
Products from the company include a range of residential sized solar appliances
and larger commercial systems. Residential systems feature venting collectors,
self cleaning heat exchanger and a digital system performance monitor
with wireless display.
Manager application (redirect)
Thermal Energy Monitor Notes
Ltd., since 1981. TDL is one of Canada's longest operating solar water
heating equipment manufacturers, based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Their
residential SDHW systems are simple, reliable, come with a full 10 year
warranty and feature a solar electric (PV) powered pump for hot water
provided 100% from the Sun.
Solar Boiler System Technical
a solar water heater be feasible in my house?
Does the solar water heater replace my current water heater?
How much could I save?
Can I also use the solar water heater to heat my pool
How big are the panels? And how much space is needed in
What is the ideal orientation for the panels?
How do you get the antifreeze up to the panels?
What happens when I have to change my roof?
Can I install a solar water heater myself?
a solar water heater be feasible in my house?
water use; The more users of
hot water in your home, the more attractive the economic performance
of a solar water heater will be -- a minimum of 2 occupants are required
to justify the installation costs of a solar unit.
type; the financial savings of a solar water heater will
depend on what fuel it is reducing the use of. In urban environments,
natural gas is common and is the least expensive fuel source. Electricity,
oil and propane are all respectively more expensive and a solar water
heater installed in these homes will provide a greater rate of return.
the installation side, a feasible site must satisfy 3 basic criteria:
space and exposure for collectors(32-64 square feet typical facing
South-East to West)
ii) space in mechanical room near
water heater for solar storage tank and heat exchange unit
iii) feasible routing path for solar
fluid lineset to connect heat exchange unit to the collectors
the solar water heater replace my current water heater?
in a Canadian climate a solar water heater cannot be the sole source
of heat input. The function of most solar waters is to preheat a storage
tank of water that then feeds into a backup, conventional, heater
when hot water is drawn for showers, cleaning etc. The preheated water
either satisfies the thermostat in the conventional water heater or
a lesser amount of fuel is used to bring it up to temperature. A solar
water heater is compatible with any other type of backup, oil, natural
gas, propane or electric. Any instantaneous water heaters must be
temperature sensitive models, in order to accommodate for the variable
temperature output of the solar unit.
much could I save?
round solar water heaters will produce 40-60% of the energy needed
for a typical household. Systems are sized according to occupants,
so you will save a variable amount based on how much hot water you
use. Dollar savings will vary based on the fuel source you use and
the water heater efficiency. Generally fuel cost ranges from low to
high, natural gas, electricity, oil, propane.
I also use the solar water heater to heat my pool or house?
short answer is usually "No".
is technically possible to have a solar system input heat to a pool
or to help heat the house but in most cases it is not particularly
cost effective. There are some exceptions, a newly built house, a
radiant infloor heating system, or a small indoor or outdoor pool.
case for secondary heating loads must be considered on an individual
big are the panels? And how much space is needed in the basement?
solar water heating collectors are 4' x 8', our Enerworks panels are
configured in portrait style on the roof, the Thermodynamics panels
are installed landscape style. Generally, every 2 occupants require
in the basement is required for the solar storage tank and the heat
exchange package. In the case of any brand of system, this space is
usually 3'x3'. The storage tank is usually the same size as your current
water heater, 60 gallons (270 L).
is the ideal orientation for the panels?
ideal orientation (azimuth) for the solar collectors is always due
south. Collectors can face either South East or South West without
losing significant energy capture. After this range, East or West,
one should consider up sizing the number of collectors recommended
for the occupants. West is generally preferred over east, since ambient
temperatures are generally higher in the afternoon, minimizing collector
ideal tilt angle depends on the season you want the most efficiency
from and varies based on the latitude of your location. In Southern
Ontario, the ideal angle for a system optimized for year round production
is about 45 degrees. A summer biased system would have a much lower
angle to capture the higher sun, about 30 degrees. A winter biased
system would have a much steeper angle for the low winter sun, 60
degrees or higher. In the winter case, panels can even be wall mounted.
do you get the antifreeze up to the panels?
packaged systems use 3/8ths copper tubing, insulated to reduce heat
loss and usually bundled with 1 or two wires for temperature sensing
or conducting power for the DC pump. The non-toxic, propylene glycol/de
mineralized water is circulated via a solar electric pump or low power
lineset is usually routed to the collectors via the shortest method
possible. Using the exterior of the home is common, with the lines
well insulated and often enclosed for looks and protection. Routing
through the interior of the home is preferred if possible, single
story homes are easiest when we can use an interior wall to drop from
the attic to the mechanical room. 2 storey homes are not as easy,
as there usually isn't a chaseway down to the basement. Often we can
run the lines from an attic, to a garage and down to the basement.
happens when I have to change my roof?
the roof needs to be redone, the panels will need to be removed and
replaced after the work is complete. The removal process usually takes
2-4 hours and the replacement takes 4-6 hours.
is not a major concern but it does make sense to have a roof that
is in good shape.
I install a solar water heater myself?
installation of a solar water heater is only recommended for the very
knowledgeable individual due to the number of skills required, however
it is possible and Merlyn has provided equipment and technical support
to interested individuals. For full factory warranty, self installed
systems must be inspected and certified by our personnel.
this point In 2012, a qualifying SDHW package is eligible for a grant
of $1,250 off the installed cost. However, the EcoENERGY program will
expire in March of 2012.
for approved systems
solar domestic water heaters are eligible for grants through the Federal
government's home energy audit program. All of Merlyn's SDHW systems
of any size will qualify for the ecoENERGY grant.
qualify for the grants, a home must go through the energy audit process,
requiring an initial and a followup assessment. Many other grants
are available through the same process, such as heating/cooling/ventilation
and hot water systems, windows and insulation.
are many ecoENERGY audit organizations, Merlyn recommends the services
more about the ecoENERGY grant options.
present Merlyn installs packaged system brands from two respected
Canadian manufacturers, Enerworks and Thermodynamics. Typical prices
are shown below and include labour, all installation hardware and
collector $ 6,000
2 collector $ 7.500
3 collector $ 10,500
4 collector $ 12,000
1 collector $
5,600.00 2 collector $
use and larger systems
large system using 4-6 collectors that are integrated with multiple
secondary heating loads (pool, spa, space heating) are generally
priced at $12-$15,000 installed.
There are numerous ways in which solar energy could be
integrated with space heating -- the most appropriate is through
radiant infloor heating. Here there are also several options depending
on your infloor heating system. As space heating is based on the
circulation of a heated fluid, not a flow-through (as in domestic
draws), the regular installation of a SDHW unit will not necessarily
provide any supplement to your radiant floors.
For the system to "take-over" from the regular space heater,
a controller and some diversion valve(s) will be required, a simple
scheme would cost in the range of $400-600.
it is to heat an indoor or outdoor pool, a secondary heat exchanger
rated for use with pool water flowrate and chemistry is required.
These heat exchangers are $700-800. Such an application can have
simple, or automated controls applied.