Understanding Types of Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters are an excellent way to save money while benefitting the environment. These energy-efficient water heating alternatives are a long-term investment that will provide your family with heated water, without having to worry about huge utility bills; in climates such as the type we’re used to in Arizona, the sun can provide you and your family with year-around heated water far more effectively than traditional alternatives! A Phoenix solar water heater is an excellent option for families looking to save money while being environmentally conscious, but did you know that there are different types of water heaters you can consider? Here, we’ll take a look at the options for your home.

How They Work

A Phoenix solar water heater can be either an active or passive system. An active system involved circulating pumps and controls to mechanically move the water around, while a passive system uses gravity to pump the water around your home. There are three types of collectors used in these types of systems:

  • Flat-plate collectors look like boxes that are heavy insulated and weatherproofed. They are generally composed of dark glass or polymer plastic covers that absorb the heat from the sun.
  • Integral collector storage systems, also called ICS or batch systems, are composed of one or more black tanks or tubes enclosed in a storage box. These systems involve outdoor pipes, and for this reason, they are generally not an option in climates that experience freezing weather.
  • Evacuated-tube solar collectors are composed of parallel rows of transparent glass tubes that absorb solar energy but work to reduce heat loss. These types of collectors are more commercially used in the United States.


A Phoenix solar water heater can be composed of a direct or indirect circulation system. In a direct circulation system, pumps actively circulate water throughout your household through the collectors. This type of system is a common choice in climates where freezing temperatures rarely occur, such as Arizona and other warm states. Indirect circulation systems, on the other hand, circulate a non-freezing heat-transfer fluid through collectors to heat the water. Because they involve a non-freezing fluid, these types of systems tend to be favored in areas where freezing is a possibility.

Here at Ecowater

We’re a group of experienced professionals with full licenses and tons of specializations. We have one of the oldest solar plumbing licenses in Arizona and are in good standing with countless home improvement organizations statewide. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a Phoenix plumber!

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