FAFCO® Introduces State-of-the-Art Solar Hot Water System

Chico – FAFCO Inc., the oldest and largest solar thermal manufacturer in the United States with over 40 years of expertise in solar water heating, introduces its next generation solar hot water system the new 500 Series system platform by FAFCO. The new 500 Series system platform, builds upon FAFCO’s award-winning polymer solar thermal technology to deliver energy saving performance in an advanced system design.

The FAFCO 500 Series system features a highly integrated solution, including a custom-designed digital solar controller, heat exchanger and pumps incorporated into a single, compact unit that installs easily on the water heater tank or a wall. The 500 Series, an active, indirect system, utilizes a proprietary, SRCC approved glycol-based heat transfer solution within the dedicated solar loop, providing freeze protection for the system and eliminating the need for a drainback tank. Its dual-loop design heats the potable water via the solar heat exchanger while maintaining separation from the potable water loop and ensuring the quality of the heated water used in the home. Engineered with commercial-grade components, quick-connect fittings and ultraviolet-resistant tubing, the system is built to provide many years of reliable service.

The FAFCO 500 Series solar controller automatically turns the system on or off depending on the amount of the sun’s energy available to heat the water. The system can also be powered using an optional photovoltaic (PV) solar panel. With this option, the PV panel runs the system from the sun’s energy, completely independent of household electricity, and provides the power required for service even during a power outage.

A key advantage of the FAFCO system is the use of unglazed polymer solar collectors. Manufactured using a proprietary co-polymer blend developed by FAFCO, the collectors withstand even the harshest outdoor environments and absorb heat from the sun at very high efficiencies. While unglazed polymer collectors reach and sustain the temperatures necessary to efficiently heat household water, they are immune to overheating – the number one problem plaguing alternative solar water heating technologies, including glazed and evacuated tube systems. Overheating, which results from the fluid inside the collectors reaching extreme temperatures, causes the chemical compounds in glycol-based heat transfer fluid to breakdown, leading to corrosion, loss of freeze protection, reduced system performance and increased service requirements. The FAFCO system operates within a temperature range that eliminates the concern of overheating and its associated problems.

The FAFCO 500 Series works with electric, gas or tankless water heaters, and is easily installed in both new construction and existing homes with minimal structural impact compared to traditional solar products. The entire system ships in a single carton weighing less than 75 pounds and typically installs in less than a half day. Its lightweight, integrated design makes it a perfect, eco-friendly addition to the product portfolio of home improvement contractors and new home builders. “Our new 500 Series system not only delivers great value to homeowners, but the system design benefits home improvement contractors and home builders as well,” said Bob Leckinger, President of FAFCO. “Its overall price/performance value and ease of shipping, handling and installation create a compelling sales proposition and profitable business model for FAFCO’s business partners.”

As the second largest area of energy consumption in a home, heating water represents a key target for energy saving strategies. With a FAFCO solar hot water system, homeowners will realize a significant savings on their utility bills by saving up to 50% – or more in some applications – on their water heating costs. Harnessing the sun’s energy to heat water reduces the amount of conventional energy required, protects homeowners against rising energy costs and delivers a long-term return on investment. Installation of a FAFCO solar hot water system also adds value to a home, helps protect our environment by using clean, renewable energy from the sun and promotes national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

A variety of solar incentives are available, including a 30% federal tax credit offered to homeowners who install eligible solar hot water systems. Additional incentives and rebates are offered by many state and local governments and utility companies.

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