Solar Thermal uses sunlight and a collector device to generate hot water that can be used for domestic hot water needs, to heat a building, pool or spa. The majority of solar thermal systems are installed to generate domestic hot water for use in a household or business. Solar collectors come in two different types, flat plate collector and evacuated tube collectors.
Evergreen installs both flat plate and evacuated tube collector systems. A system typically includes two or more flat plates collectors, a well-insulated storage tank and a circulating pump package and controls. Evacuated tube collectors generally come in groups of eight or more tubes to a single collector assembly; however, the actual configuration varies by manufacturer.
The choice between flat plat collectors or evacuated tubes can depend on several factors. Flat plate collectors have been around for decades and are considered very reliable. Evacuated tubes are a more recent invention and do not have a shorter history of trouble free operation. For most domestic hot water applications, flat plate collectors will provide excellent performance at a good price. Evacuated tube collectors are more costly; however, they offer some advantages with that cost including better winter performance and the ability to replace a single tube in the collector assembly.
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) began a solar thermal rebate program in March 2012 that provides a rebate using the following formula:
Incentive = # of collectors * $70 * SRCC Rating (Category C) * Shading Factor
In addition to the CEFIA rebate, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides a full 30% federal tax credit for installations completed after December 31 2008.