Manufacturers of solar hot water systems
Last updated 9/11/2018
There are many manufacturers who make full systems or individual components for a solar hot water installation. There’s no single dominant solar hot water manufacturer – instead, several solar hot water companies producing quality products and rolling out innovative technology.
An important note to remember about solar hot water manufacturers is that they usually sell to a network of local installers, who will often receive training and support directly from that manufacturer. These installers can range from companies who also install solar photovoltaic systems to dedicated solar hot water companies. In some cases, they may even be local electricians or plumbers.
Solar hot water systems have many parts, and can be installed in several ways depending on the type of system you want. For example, you can have an active or passive setup, as well as a direct or indirect system. Most solar hot water installed in the U.S. is active and indirect. (Check out our page on the components of a solar hot water installation here.)
List of top solar hot water companies
Many U.S. and international companies offer high-quality, respected solar hot water products. The following manufacturers provide collectors, tanks, controllers, or even full systems.
With installations in over 30 countries, Apricus is a major player in the solar hot water manufacturing field worldwide. Apricus sells all parts to a solar hot water system, and they offer both evacuated tube and flat plate collectors.
Rheem is a large U.S. company producing a range of water heating products, and they have a small line of solar hot water systems and components available. They offer two complete packages - one with an electric backup, and one single tank option with gas backup. The included solar collectors are flat plate models. In addition to their two complete packages, Rheem offers three solar hot water storage tanks to purchase individually.
AET (short for Alternate Energy Technologies) has been around since 1975 selling solar thermal products. Their main product is their EagleSun Systems deal, a package solar hot water installation. AET claims their EagleSun Systems are designed to last 30 to 50 years, an impressive lifetime for solar hot water. They only manufacture flat plate solar collectors, but offer both direct and indirect system setups.
Another company that has been active since the 1970s, SunEarth manufactures and sells complete solar hot water systems with flat plate solar collector technology. Additionally, SunEarth offers both direct and indirect solar hot water systems. In addition to solar hot water, SunEarth manufactures and sells complete solar pool heating setups.
Kingspan was founded in Ireland in the 1960s and expanded to the United States in 2008 as Kingspan USA. One of the largest companies on this list, Kingspan manufactures sustainable building solutions and technologies, from ductwork to moisture management systems. Within the solar hot water part of their business, they manufacture evacuated tube and flat plate collectors, but no other solar hot water system components.
Like Kingspan above, Stiebel Eltron produces many products building technologies, but focus more specifically on renewable heating and cooling solutions like tankless water heaters. They sell complete solar hot water kits with flat plate and evacuated tube solar collectors, and also offer individual components for a solar hot water installation. Stiebel Eltron was founded in Germany, but sells products in the United States.
A U.S. founded and based company, Heliodyne is a specialized solar hot water manufacturer with dealers in most states. They offer flat plate collectors, storage tanks, and control units for solar hot water installations. Established in 1976, they are one of the older companies on this list, and one of a few to specialize only in solar hot water products.
For DIY-minded shoppers interested in solar hot water, SunMaxx Solar (founded as part of Silicon Solar in 2006) is one of the top companies producing system components. They offer solar hot water kits with flat plate or evacuated tube solar collectors, and encourage homeowners to install their systems themselves or hire a recommended professional. You can also buy individual components for a solar hot water system from SunMaxx.
The most specialized company on this list, Resol only produces solar hot water controllers, but are a dominant player in the controller market. Founded in Germany in 1977, Resol has expanded their products to more than 60 countries, with over 3 million systems worldwide including a Resol controller.