How it Works
A New England Solar Hot Water (SHW) or ‘New England Drain Back’ appliance provides environmentally friendly heat for household hot water. Although the system initially costs more than conventional water heaters, the fuel it uses—sunshine—is free.
The main components are: the solar collectors, the storage tank, pump and controller package, and an insulated line set that runs between the collectors and the storage tank. In most cases, your existing hot water heater will serve as back-up for when there is no sun or very high household demand. If your old hot water heater is in need of replacement anyway, then the New England Drain BAck solar hot water system can both store the hot water from your solar collectors as well as heat the back-up hot water with it’s own electrical immersion element.
Bright sunshine is not necessary for your system to work. On cloudy days and in hazy conditions there is usually sufficient solar energy for the system to provide the required amount of heat. Moreover, our Kingspan collectors have very high ‘cloudy day’ ratings and work extremely well in New England and will still provide hot water on the coldest winter day.
On some occasions such as prolonged overcast periods or when your hot water demand is very high, the back-up heater will kick in and ensure that you always have hot water. In most homes, the solar collectors will provide about 70 to 90% of your hot water year round with the ’back-up’ providing the rest.
Benefits of Solar Hot Water
An investment in a solar water heating system will outperform the stock market or your 401k, hands down!
Initial return on investment is at least 15% if you heat your hot water with gas and as high as 40% if you heat with electricity. Unlike your 401k, these returns are tax-free, and will only increase as fuel and electricity prices continue to skyrocket.
The federal government has a 30% tax credit while states have additional tax credits and the MassCEC rebate keep your ‘out of pocket’ expense at around $2,500 for our solar hot water systems. No question about it, your next investment should be in a solar hot water system.