Indirect Solar Water Heating in Single-Family, Zero Energy Ready Homes

Robb Aldrich, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Solar water heating systems are not new, but they have not become prevalent in most of the U.S. Most of the country is cold enough that indirect solar thermal systems are required for freeze protection, and average installed cost of these systems is $9,000 to $10,000 for typical systems on single-family homes. These costs can vary significantly in different markets and with different contractors, and federal and regional incentives can reduce these up-front costs by 50% or more. In western Massachusetts, an affordable housing developer built a community of 20 homes with a goal of approaching zero net energy consumption. In addition to excellent thermal envelopes and PV systems, the developer installed a solar domestic water heating system (SDHW) on each home. The Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), a research consortium funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Building America program, commissioned some of the systems, and CARB was able to monitor detailed performance of one system for 28 months.
Original languageAmerican English
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, Connecticut

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-65187

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102016-4789


  • Building America
  • commissioning
  • consortium for advanced residential buildings
  • freeze-protected
  • indirect
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • Rural Development Inc.
  • SDWH
  • solar domestic water heating
  • solar thermal
  • solar with tankless water heater
  • Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
  • SWA
  • water heating solutions
  • Wisdom Way Solar Village
  • zero energy homes
  • Zero Energy Ready Homes


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