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Panel vs. Evacuated tube cost benefits

Tim_5 Member Posts: 37
Can any one explain the cost benefits of Evacuated Tube verses Flat Panel for Domestic Hot water only. We are proposing either 2 flat panel or 2 sets of evacuated tube and are only going for domestic hot water, The location is Midwest about 40 miles north of Chicago.  I am undecided if the cost of the tube is going to outperform the flat panel and if the cost upgrade is going to pay off. 


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,575
    run the numbers

    The SRCC has a quick calculator to show various system performances in many different locations. Divide the performance by the installed


    Longevity in my main concern with some collectors. Hail happens! Be sure the collector you chose can stand up to conditions your area may expect to see.

    Flat plate handle hail fairly well, and glass can be replaced on most flat panel collectors.

    See what replacement costs are for tubes or if the warranty covers hail damage.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Karl_Northwind
    Karl_Northwind Member Posts: 139
    long standing debate

    This is a long standing debate in the solar world.  

    I am a solar contractor in WI.

    For domestic only, it's my opinion that flat plates offer excellent bang for the buck (slightly less bang, and slightly less buck than evacuated tubes) in the upper midwest.   as a contractor who runs into my customers at the store, the pub, the YMCA etc.  I need to sell stuff that I have absolutely no concerns about the long term viability and durability of the equipment. 

    evacuated tubes will sure produce hot water, but there are just too many unknowns on the long term end of the equation for me to gamble my reputation and livelyhood on.


    North Wind Renewable Energy LLC.
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