Understanding the direction to install solar water heater

Solar Water Heater

Solar Water Heater

When you decide to choose the solar water heater you have to seriously consider the site, orientation and the tilt of the solar collector as this affect the performance of the heater. This also ensures that you get the best of the results in all seasons especially in winters when the hot water is needed most. And the sunshine is the least. The efficiency of the solar water heater depends on how much solar energy reaches to your home.

As the solar water heater uses both the heat forms of sunlight, direct and passive, it is not necessary that you have to live in the area where it is hot and sunny all the year round to use the solar water heater. If your home has an unshaded area preferably rooftop during the peak sun hours then it is the best location to install the solar water heater.


The orientation of the collector is a crucial aspect while considering for solar water heater. Generally speaking, for the people residing in northern hemisphere the solar water should be oriented in true south position to get the optimum results. Depending upon the location the east or west of the south direction is taken into consideration.

The other considerations include the orientation of the roof or the place where you want to install the heater, shade of other buildings or trees falling on the collector and local weather conditions like foggy or cloudy days are also considered while choosing the optimal orientation. Similarly, it goes vice versa for those who live in the southern hemisphere. But the factors like weather condition, shade, location are to be considered.

Tilt angle:

15 degree tilt of solar water heater

15 degree tilt of solar water heater

Usually people prefer to place the solar collector at the same angle as that of the roof assuming that it may spoil the looks of the house. Although this may seem a better option but in order to get the best heated water in winter and controlled temperature of the water in summers then one should tilt it upto the angle of the latitude the house is. The angle of the roof is also considered while calculating the angle.


Shadow of solar water heater

Shadow of solar water heater

Along with the tilt and orientation the shading also needs to be considered. The location of the site must have full sunlight without shade during 9:00 am to 4:30 PM. One must ensure that the shade of the mountains, buildings or trees must not fall of the collector to get the optimum results.

Once you are done with location of the solar water heater, checking for its orientation and tilt then you can give consideration to the size of the collector. The effective tilt and orientation can also impact the size of the collector.

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