Solar thermal systems are a proven technology that has been used successfully for over 30 years. These systems transfer heat from the sun into a solar fluid and then to a home’s domestic hot water, space heating system, or both.
Domestic Water Heating Systems
Domestic water heating systems use the sun’s energy to provide a portion of your home’s hot water needs. In Wisconsin, these systems can provide up to 75% of a home’s annual water heating requirements. The solar water heating system will typically supply nearly all of the home’s hot water during summer months. Your existing water heater acts as a backup during winter and cloudy periods. For a more detailed system diagram see the Solar Domestic Hot Water System Diagram.
Space Heating Systems
Solar water heating can be used to provide heat for your home, too. Since space heating needs are greatest when there is the least amount of sun, these systems are much larger than domestic water heating systems. Typically, domestic hot water heating for the home is also provided by the same system. In Wisconsin, up to 50% of annual space heating needs can be met with a solar hot water space heating system. For a more detailed system diagram see the Solar Space Heating/Domestic Hot Water System Diagram.