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Solar water heater


Solar water heaters (SWH) provide heat using solar energy. The energy performance of a solar water heating system is influenced by a number of factors. For example, these may include resource and design elements such as the amount of solar radiation hitting the solar collectors, the collector type (e.g. glazed, unglazed or evacuated tubes), area and efficiency, as well as the solar tracking mode (i.e. fixed, one-axis, azimuth or two-axis tracker), the slope and the azimuth (physical orientation) of the solar water heater. Other factors include the end-use water temperature required, the supply temperature of the water available, as well as the use of a hot water storage tank. And the energy performance of a solar heated swimming pool will also be influenced by the pool area, the use of a cover (i.e. blanket), the wind sheltering and solar shading (for outdoor pools). Refer to the Solar Hot Water System Schematic and the Solar Pool Heating System Schematic for more information.

Software & Data
The RETScreen Software Solar Water Heating Model can be used worldwide to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for solar water heating projects, ranging in size from solar collectors for small-scale domestic hot water applications, for indoor and outdoor swimming pools for residential, commercial and institutional buildings, and for large-scale industrial processes and aquaculture applications, to improved water heating system designs including solar collectors installation, hot water temperature and use reduction, and improved pipe insulation. The software contains a database of typical daily hot water use for loads such as houses, apartments, hotels and motels, hospitals, offices, restaurants, schools, laundry rooms and car washes. The software (available in multiple languages) also includes product, project and climate databases, and a detailed user manual.

Click here to download RETScreen Suite

Training material
RETScreen - Solar Water Heating Project Analysis - Slides (2.72 MB)
RETScreen - Solar Water Heating Project - Voice & slides - part 1/3 (1.94 MB)
RETScreen - Solar Water Heating Project - Voice & slides - part 2/3 (1.97 MB)
RETScreen - Solar Water Heating Project - Voice & slides - part 3/3 (1.62 MB)
RETScreen - Solar Water Heating Project Analysis - Speaker's notes

e-Textbook / Guides
RETScreen - Solar Water Heating Project Analysis - e-Textbook (1.68 MB)
RETScreen - Solar Water Heating Project Model (V3) - User manual (813 KB)

Case studies / Templates
Heating - Solar water heater - Apartment building / Canada
Heating - Solar water heater - Apartment building / France
Heating - Solar water heater - Aquaculture / Canada
Heating - Solar water heater - Capital cost incentive - Policy / USA
Heating - Solar water heater - Hotel/Motel / Canada
Heating - Solar water heater - Hotel/Motel / India
Heating - Solar water heater - Hot water
Heating - Solar water heater - House / Canada
Heating - Solar water heater - Swimming pool - Indoor
Heating - Solar water heater - Swimming pool - Indoor / Canada (Calgary)
Heating - Solar water heater - Swimming pool - Indoor / Canada (Guelph)
Heating - Solar water heater - Swimming pool - Indoor / Canada (Kamloops)
Heating - Solar water heater - Swimming pool - Indoor / Canada (Quebec)
Heating - Solar water heater - Swimming pool - Outdoor


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