A new DIY solar hot water system has been introduced by Fafco, a Chico-based company that specializes in solar pool heaters. The new system can be installed by two homeowners in half a day, the company claims, and the whole thing weighs just 62 pounds. And it comes in a box!
The system costs around $1,800 and the company says it will supply half the hot water needs of a typical household. And thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which has been extended through 2008, your tax bill will be approximately $600 less if this system is installed, and if the heated water is used for the home, and not for a pool or hot tub.
• A black polymer panel, made of hundreds of tiny tubes, that screws onto the roof. When the system is installed, water in these tubes is heated by the sun, and then that heat is transferred to water that goes into your water tank.
• A controller that sends water up to the roof only when the sun’s rays are hot enough to heat it. This handily avoids the chance of water freezing in the tubes in cold weather.
• A small “drain back” tank where the water for the panels sits until the controller sends it back up.
• The heat transfer device, which brings together heat from the solar panels to fresh water going into your existing tank.
Fafco claims this system pays for itself in less than three years. The downside is that while a traditional system made of copper lasts more than 20 years, this system will last 12 to 15 years.
You can see more at www.hot2o.com or call 1-877-55-HOT2O.