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Solar Thermal 101: SRCC Collector Ratings and What They Mean

This is the fifth in a series of posts written by Free Hot Water’s co-founder and senior mechanical engineer, Gal Moyal. We’ll be posting this series every Wednesday, so please make it a date. Some of the information may be very technical, but if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us. We sincerely want to help. If you would like to have a more hands-on experience, explore our certified Free Hot Water training courses.  –Solar Fred.

SRCC Collector Ratings

In our previous posts, we’ve been talking about the different types of solar hot water collectors. We’ve discussed evacuated tube collectors and flat plate collectors. However, all solar thermal collectors are not created equal, and that’s why we have the SRCC ratings.

Any quality collector sold in the United States is examined and approved by what’s commonly known as the SRCC, which stands for the “Solar Rating and Certification Corporation.” States such as California will only issue rebates to collectors and complete systems that have been rated by the SRCC.

And who is the SRCC? The SRCC is an independent agency that administers a certification, rating, and labeling program for solar hot water collectors. They also have a similar program for complete residential solar water heating systems.

  • Solar thermal collectors have what’s known as an “OG-100″ certification. These can be used on any roof with a custom installation. Apartment buildings, hotels, laundry mats, car washes, and hospitals all require custom installations that include OG-100 panels.
  • Complete solar water heating systems that include OG-100 solar collectors, storage tank, and other components have an “OG-300″ certification.  Residential systems don’t typically need custom engineering, which is why most residential systems are sold as complete SRCC rated kits.

All equipment that the SRCC certifies and rates is required to bear a certification label, which shows the performance rating for that product. In addition, each certified product is published by SRCC in a directory.

Each product’s directory listing contains information on the product’s material and specifications as well as the certified thermal performance rating. For example, our Free Hot Water 7000 and 5000 and 4000 series are all OG-100 certified.

See the label for our 7000 series specifications and how the collector performed on sunny days, cloudy days, and other specifications.  You can then compare Free Hot Water solar collectors to other certificates from other brands  and make an apples to apples comparison of performance and the materials used to make the panels

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As always, if you have any questions at all, please contact us.  We genuinely want to help you decide whether solar hot water is right for your home or business.

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