Solar Water Heating Calculator

Water heating is a major energy consumer. Although the energy consumed daily is often less than for air conditioning or heating, it is required year round, making it a good application of solar energy.

Use this calculator to explore the energy usage of your water heater, and to estimate whether a solar water heater could save you money.

Water Heater Characteristics
Diameter (feet) Water Inlet Temperature (Degrees F)
Capacity (gallons) Ambient Temperature (Degrees F)
Surface Area (calculated - sq ft) Hot Water Temperature (Degrees F)
Effective R-value Hot Water Usage (Gallons per Day)
Energy Use
Heat Delivered in Hot Water (BTU/hr)
Heat loss through insulation (BTU/hr)

Gas vs. Electric Water Heating
Gas Electric
Overall Efficiency
Conversion Efficiency 0.98
BTU/hr Power Into Water Heater BTU/hr
$/Therm Utility Rates $/kWh
$ Yearly Water Heating Cost $
How Does Solar Compare?
Solar Water Heater Cost: $ Percentage Solar:
years for gas Payback Time for Solar System years for electric

Source: Texas State Energy Conservation Office

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