Solar water heating systems should be designed to minimize life-cycle costs. It is not cost-effective to design a system that provides 100% of the load with solar because of the excessive investment in collector area and storage volume to meet demand on cloudy winter days. The life-cycle cost can be minimized by designing a system that meets 100% of the load on the sunniest day of the year. Such a system will usually produce about 70% of the annual load. Other design considerations include maintenance, freeze protection, overheating protection, aesthetics of the collector mounting, and orientation. Additionally, local rebate programs may impose additional design requirements. For example, a solar water heating system in Hawaii must meet 90%-110% of the expected load in order to qualify for rebates from the Hawaiian Electric Company.
SunEarth's engineering and support staff provide the design community and our wholesale customers with a variety of technical services. These include Commercial Design Principles 101, plan and specification review, solar performance simulation and analysis, standard "plan set" drawings for building departments, and SRCC Standard 100 and Standard 300 tutorials. In addition, SunEarth holds frequent in-house training sessions and seminars on a variety of commercial and residential topics of interest to the engineering and design community, builders, wholesale distributors, and contractors.