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since 1988



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Solar Water Heating
Series 200 - Drainback Series 500 - glycol SDHW Design SDHW Installation Become a DHW Dealer

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FAFCO Solar Domestic Hot Water (SDHW) Systems 

  • FAFCO has two unique systems
    • Series 200 (this system is currently unavailable)
      • Drainback
    • Series 500 (connect to link above for more detail)
      • Specialty glycol used where needed
      • Optional PV (solar power) operation
  • Both systems contain polymer panels and solar loop tubing in a closed loop design with an external heat exchanger in a circulation module that transfers solar heat to the potable water in your water heater or additional solar storage tank.  Basic system (48 sq.ft. of panel) comes in one easy to ship box. 

Solar water heating uses thermal solar energy to heat water for home, business, or industry.  Unlike pool heating that is a low temperature solar application, hot water heating is a medium temperature application.  For domestic hot water heating (DHW) needs such as laundry, bathing, dish washing, etc., medium temperatures are desired (110o-140o).  Until now, a typical "flat plate" panel would consist of a copper absorber plate and waterways enclosed in an insulated aluminum box with glass glazing.  Water is stored in your standard water heater or in another insulated storage tank similar to a water heater but larger.  As with your house plumbing, all pressurized piping interconnecting panels, storage tanks and water heaters should be insulated copper. Besides domestic use, these systems are used to heat water for radiant floor heating, hydraulic forced-air space heating, spas, etc.

FAFCO has been in the DHW business before and is again offering a unique and revolutionary SDHW system originally designed under a U.S. Department of Energy grant.  All solar loop piping, drainback tank, when used, and panels themselves are non-metallic.  Yes, a polymer (plastic) SDHW system (with the exception of the pumps motors, heat exchanger, and stainless steel potable connection lines.  The advantages are all these components are non-corrosive, more tolerant of freezing conditions, and less subject to price increases that all metals have experience over the last several years and expected to continue.  The panels are also unglazed, so much more solar energy can be absorbed by the water within the panels.  This means that, at temperatures less than 120oF, the FAFCO panels are actually more efficient than the much more expensive "boxed and glazed" or evacuated tube metallic panels.  We may not perform as well when ambient air temperatures are cool, but annual performance relative to cost is much better.  In other words, a better BTU bang for your buck.

For a quick overview, as we update our site, refer to FAFCO's website:


Initially, in areas where there is no dealer set-up yet, we MAY sell these systems and components direct to the consumer.  However, being a wholesale distributor, as with the pool systems, we prefer working through qualified dealers and thus will work towards developing a dealer network throughout our distribution area including Hawaii.  If interested in becoming a dealer hit this hyperlink or the "Become a Dealer" button at the top of the page .  Typical dealers are in the plumbing or solar business.  If you want to get on our list for information on our solar water heating systems, contact us.

The FAFCO systems are OG-100 and OG-300 certified through SRCC and QUALIFY for the Federal solar tax credits of 30% of the system cost, the Oregon solar tax credits of 50% up to $1500, Hawaii 35% up to $2250.   Check with  for incentives that may be offered in your state to verify what certifications are required.  Most incentives, including the federal tax credit, requires OG-100 but some others, like Oregon's state tax credit and local utility rebates, require OG-300 as well. 

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Page last updated: August 18, 2015

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