When determining what size collector you need, you must consider two key factors: insolation level and energy requirements. Energy requirement will usually take into consideration the volume of water and rise in temperature required. Once you know these factors you can determine the size collector you require. The bigger the collector you have, the more hot water, but you should make an economically sound decision. Generally it is wise to select a size which will provide you with 90% of your hot water needs in the summer.
The calculator below can help to determine how many evacuated tubes you require given your energy requirements. Solar collectors come in a set of standard sizing of 10, 20, 22 or 30, depending on your region. Of course you can also combine collectors to increase the size. If you get an answer that is not a standard size, as a general rule, select the next size down - this will prevent having too much heat in the summer.
Depending on your preference, either Metric or Imperial values may be used to calculate the number of tubes required. Please note: 1 kWh/m2/day = 317.1 Btu/ft2/day
*Water Volume = This should represent the actual volume of hot water used at the tap in total each day.
Although most hot water systems have target temps of 60oC / 140oF, when showering a temperature of between 42oC / 107oF and 45oC / 113oF is normally used. Therefore 300L of hot water at the tap may only draw 220L of hot water (at 60oC / 140oF) from the storage tank.
**Temperature Rise = target tap hot water temp - average mains cold water temp.
Apart from the three key factors used in the calculation above, you may also need to consider:
The estimations above are just a guide and are based on a average summer performance level of 70%. As explained above it is best not to oversize the system. Your local distributor may need to complete a onsite inspection to accurately assess your requirements and design a solar water heating system which suits your needs.