Building a new house?
Click below to learn more about the
Greenfield, our solar-ready,
5-Star Energy Rated home
Solar Quiz
More Information
First Name:
Last Name:

What Is Solar - Thermal

Today's solar thermal systems combine a very efficient technique to collect the sun's heat with plumbing systems to produce cost effective hot water. Solar Hot Water (SHW) systems heat your home's hot water through solar collectors that trap the sun's energy just like the water that trickles out of the garden hose that has been sitting in the sun.

We at Simplex Solar install closed-loop SHW systems. Our solar collectors transfer heat to a non-toxic anti-freeze liquid, which in turns heats your hot water via a heat exchanger in a storage tank. Your storage tank will then feed your existing hot water tank with solar pre-heated water. This reduces the amount of electricity, natural gas or oil normally required to heat your water.

Solar Hot Water collectors are very energy efficient, converting about 60-70% of the sun's energy into hot water. They are one of the best, most cost-effective renewable energy investments you can make.

A typical residential solar hot water system for a family of five averages $7,000 - $9,000 fully installed, before incentives. Residential buildings benefit the most when hot water demand is highest, such as in a large family with heavy laundry loads.

Commercial or industrial SHJW systems are most cost effective in facilities with water heating systems that are expensive to operate or in laundries and kitchens that require large quantities of hot water.

Incentives are currently available that reduce the cost of Solar Hot Water systems by 30% or more.

  • Federal Tax Credit: The federal government offer the Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC) for solar. It was initially established for a finite period of time with a cap, but has now been extended until December 31, 2016 with no maximum credit. Businesses and homeowners alike are given a 30% rebate for the cost of the system as a federal tax credit.
  • State/Local Rebates: These are upfront payments or a fixed price per watt provided by your state for installing a solar system. Pennsylvania, for example, has the PA Sunshine Solar Program, which allows a cash rebate of up to 35% of the total cost.


A solar collector gathers and stores the sun's energy via a network of pipes through which water or anti-freeze is heated. Flat plate collectors are the most common type, consisting of copper tubes fitted to a flat absorber plate. Evacuated tube collectors are more efficient, working best in cold, cloudy climates. However, they average twice the cost of a flat plate collector system.

Similar to mounting racks for a PV electric system, SHW collectors can be mounted on the roof, ground or wall (awning).

A solar water tank is an insulated water storage tank that feeds your existing hot water system.

Found in closed loop SHW systems, they allow the transfer of heat from one fluid to another without the two mixing.

Small circulation pumps provide the flow of water between the storage tanks to the collector and return.

Print Ready Page
Copyright 2010 Simplex Solar
Simplex Solar   PO Box 218   Chinchilla, PA 18410    phone: 570.983.0340   Fax: 570.983.0342
Home | Why Solar? | Save Money | Getting Started | FAQ | Gallery | About Us | Contact Us
Simplex Industries, Inc.
Certification #031310-25