Solar Hot Water

If you’ve ever left a cool beverage out on a sunny day, you understand how quickly the sun heats up liquids.

A Solar Thermal, or Solar Hot Water system simply takes advantage of that effect to heat water for your home. 

All Solar Thermal systems use three main components: solar heat collector panels on your roof, a hot water storage tank in your basement, and an online dashboard that lets you monitor system performance.

Solar Thermal panels

In a Solar Thermal system, the array of panels on your roof is relatively small; a pair of solar thermal panels can usually provide enough hot water for a household of four.  Inside the panels, a fluid called glycol passes through a series of tubes, which are heated by the sun’s energy.  The glycol is pumped in a continuous closed-loop system to your basement where it reaches a solar thermal tank.  There, a heat exchanger extracts the heat from the glycol to heat the water.  Once the water in the solar thermal tank gets quite hot, up to 120 degrees, it is ready for use.

Solar Thermal tank

A solar thermal tank looks remarkably like a conventional hot water tank, and we generally install it adjacent to your existing tank.  The solar tank feeds into your existing tank so that instead of heating up the cold water that comes in from the water company, you consume water heated by the sun.  There is no threat of running out of hot water. Even in the case of an extended period of consistently cloudy weather, your traditional hot water tank will come on to cover supply.
The most important benefit of this tank arrangement is a significantly reduced utility bill for making hot water.  A lesser considered benefit is that your traditional hot water tank only supplements the solar thermal system, so it is used less frequently and therefore lasts longer.

At SunBug, we partner with New England Solar Hot Water to install Solar Hot Water systems.


Our Solar Hot Water partner, New England Solar Hot Water, has developed a specialized “New England Drain Back System” that is unpressurized and does not overheat in the summer nor freeze in the winter. These are the lowest maintenance, highest production systems in New England.  Standard residential systems come with a 20-year warranty stainless steel tank and are eligible for a 10-year workmanship warranty on the entire system.


Solar Hot Water is the most incentivized renewable technology in the Bay State.  The Mass CEC’s Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Rebate and the Federal and State Tax credits combine to reduce initial investment cost by as much as 75%.

SunBug Solar

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Eastern MA 617-500-3938

Western MA 413-884-1000

Founded in 2009 and a Certified B Corporation since 2018, SunBug Solar has designed and installed over 2400 solar systems from Great Barrington to Cape Cod. We build all types of systems, ranging in size from 1kW to over 1MW, including residential, commercial, carports, and ground-mounts. Our integrated approach - from initial education through consultative design to quality installation and ongoing support - has earned SunBug the highest reputation for customer service and a host of satisfied residential and commercial customers.