Saturday, August 27, 2011

An Interesting Roof Integrated Solar Water Heating Collector for Picky HOAs

Just ran across this interesting collector design from Velux -- the people who do the very popular skylights.

The collector sits flat to the roof and looks exactly like a regular Velux skylight.  There are no visible plumbing connections.  They use the same flashing system on the collectors as they do on their skylights.

It seems like this look might be a lot more acceptable to a picky HOA?

The SRCC performance ratings are comparable to other good flat plate collectors.

Mixed skylights and solar collectors.
Seems like a good idea, and I don't see any reason there could not be a DIY one.

More details on the Velux site...



  1. Haven't tried integrating with solar collectors, but I did spend last winter installing skylights:

  2. Hi Jan
    Nice job!
    I think you are ready to move on to skylight water heating collectors :)


  3. I wonder if there would be a way to use this idea to make a freeze protected panel? Imagine this skylight idea in a typical cathedral ceiling but designed in a way that allows some of the heat from the room to warm the panel (perhaps from behind?) just enough to hold it above freezing point on cold winter nights. This would allow the use of the much simpler and cheaper open loop water heating system in colder climates. Somehow you would have to avoid losing too much heat out of it on a cold night though.

  4. Hi Steve,
    Interesting idea.
    Seems like it might work well in climates that have moderate winters.
    Typically, you would have R1 glazing above the collector tubes, and R40 (or so) roof insulation below, so if its much below freezing, you would need some kind of controlled heat leak path through that R40 insulation (I think) -- maybe just less insulation in the collector area.


  5. How's the pricing on this? Has anyone made a computation of cost vs. savings? Is it worth it? I would like to know more before I try this out. I hope it converts solar energy more efficiently than the others I've tried.


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