Hot water throughout the year: the system works all year round, though you'll need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months. Cut your bills: sunlight is free, so once you've paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be reduced. Cut your carbon footprint: solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
The ideal situation for solar panels is facing due south, although they are effective facing anywhere between south east and south west. As a rule of thumb you need between 1 and 2 m2 of collector (solar panels) per person living in the house. Shade on the panels at any time of day will reduce the performance.
Solar hot water storage tanks can vary greatly in size, from 150L to in excess of 1000L.
Depending on the size of the tank a number of options are available to assist in the heating of water, at times when the sun shaded.
For smaller tanks an electric element can be used. For larger tanks gas or diesel boiler can be used.