Residential solar thermal collectors (Atlanta, GA)

Residential Solar Thermal Water Heating Systems

Solar thermal is a technology used for harnessing the Sun’s energy for water heating, and water heating is the second highest energy cost in a typical household.

The two major parts of a solar thermal system are solar collectors and a storage tank. A non-freezing, non-toxic propylene glycol fluid circulates through the solar collectors, usually on the roof, to capture the Sun’s heat. Then the glycol circulates through a heat exchanger to heat water in a storage tank. The storage tank supplies pre-heated water to a conventional gas, propane or electric water heater. Therefore the water heater’s make-up water is pre-heated instead of being cold, ground-temperature water. Most of the time the pre-heated water is hot enough to satisfy the water heater’s set point, and its heating element never energizes. A properly designed solar thermal system can reduce the cost of conventional water heating by 75-80 percent.

Georgia is considered a very good area for solar thermal installations. In fact we are on par with much of Florida in yearly average solar radiation. The most important requirements for choosing a site for a solar thermal installation are to have a southern exposure to the Sun and no shading issues.

Soenso Solar works with architects, engineers, home builders, home owners, home remodelers, plumbing contractors and other professionals to assist them with incorporating sustainable home building practices such as solar thermal systems. We recommend and encourage energy conservation measures first and then renewable energy such as solar thermal water heating.

Flat Plate Solar Thermal

Soenso Solar is a dealer and professional installer of flat plate solar thermal systems. These flat plate, closed loop systems are ideal for Georgia’s relatively moderate climate that is, nonetheless, subject to freezing temperatures during winter months. The non-toxic propylene glycol solution used in our systems can withstand outdoor temperatures to minus forty degrees Fahrenheit. Our solar thermal systems are SRCC OG-300 Certified as specified under the Georgia Clean Energy Tax Incentive of 2008. With modern design, quality engineering, and outstanding performance, our solar thermal systems are the perfect match for quality-conscious Georgia consumers.

Residential solar thermal systems are sized according to the number of occupants in the home. On average twenty gallons of hot water are used per person per day. We design the system to store one day’s supply of hot water. For example a family of four would have two solar collectors with an eighty gallon hot water storage tank. A family of six would have three solar collectors and a one hundred twenty gallon hot water storage tank.

Rough estimates of pricing for flat plate solar thermal start at about $8,000 installed cost for a system with two solar collectors and an eighty-gallon storage tank to about $10,000 installed cost for a system with three solar collectors and a one hundred twenty gallon storage tank. This includes all material, shipping, installation and commissioning. Sales tax is not included. These estimates are not price quotes and are subject to change. The ease or difficulty of the installation affects the cost. For example, installation of a solar thermal system during construction of a new home is usually easier than retrofitting into an existing home. However retrofitting solar thermal into an existing home is usually feasible.

Soenso Solar can supply solar thermal systems from variety manufacturers including Schüco Solar.

“We set out to build an environmentally sustainable residence, from demolition of the prior residence, to site management, construction techniques, construction materials and energy/resource conscious systems. SOENSO helped us evaluate, select and install the right solar hot water and water recovery systems to meet our needs. …We have been very pleased with the performance of our solar hot water system.”
Homeowner, Atlanta, Georgia