EPiC database - Solar hot water system

This material is part of the free Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database. The EPiC Database contains embodied environmental flow coefficients for 250+ construction materials using a comprehensive hybrid life cycle inventory approach.

Solar hot water systems are used as an alternative to more conventional electric or gas storage systems. They use energy from the sun to heat water that is used for a range of purposes within buildings.

The system consists of two flat plate collectors, a storage tank, and associated plumbing and electrical components, suitable for a one-family dwelling. The water is pumped from the storage tank to the collectors, where it is passed through thin tubes to be heated by direct solar radiation. Heated water is then stored in the storage tank until it is needed.

The flat plate collectors consist of an insulated steel absorber plate, encased in an aluminium frame and toughened glass. The storage tank is manufactured from steel and aluminium alloy and is insulated with polyurethane foam.