Solar Water Heating

How it Works

Solar water heating is a simple technology. Rooftop solar collectors turn light from the sun into heat energy. This heat is transferred to a running loop of water and piped into the building for use. Using solar energy to heat water offsets the need to use electricity or fossil fuels such as natural gas or propane, in turn reducing your utility bills and benefiting the environment.

Various configurations of commercial scale solar hot water systems exist for multifamily domestic hot water; however, there are universal basic elements of each system. The solar hot water system pre-heats the municipal water prior to it entering the boiler system or hot water heater. The existing boiler or water heater becomes an auxiliary to the solar hot water system, turning on only to provide make-up heat. Well-maintained solar hot water systems have a useful life of approximately 30 years.

Skyline Innovations uses a closed-loop, double-walled configuration, meaning that the loop of glycol running to the rooftop solar collectors never mixes with hot water that you use for operations. Instead, a separate loop flows up into the rooftop array, where it is heated in the solar collector before flowing back to the Skyline tank, which in turn heats the municipal water coming into your existing water heater.

The solar water heating provided by Skyline ensures that your existing water heater won’t need to turn as frequently – if at all – to provide your location with hot water.

The design of the Skyline system ensures you receive hot water when you need it, even after a week-long solar eclipse (or perhaps a series of cloudy days). When solar energy isn’t available, your building reverts back to regular use of its existing water heating system.

The solar collectors we use are highly resilient, rated to withstand high winds and golf ball-sized hail strikes. There are few moving parts in this system, and the Skyline monitoring infrastructure provides us with real-time performance data. Our proactive monitoring enables us to identify, diagnose, and address problems before they arise.