Want A Solar Powered Water Heater? Selecting Between Flat Plate And Tube Panels

A great way to be more environmentally friendly and to reduce your energy bill is to install a solar powered water heater. Using solar power brings up the questions of what kind of solar panels you will use to power the water heater. You will need to select between models that use a flat plate or tube designs for the solar panels. Know the advantages and disadvantages of each one to help you decide which is best for your needs.

Flat Plate Solar Panels


A flat plate will work best if you don't want to spend a ton of cash, because flat plate designs are cheaper than their tube counterpart. The weight of a flat plate solar panel is also less than a tube model by approximately 100 lbs, which could be easier on your roof if you are concerned about putting additional weight on it.


A flat plate panel can be very difficult to install because the panel comes in one big piece rather than several pieces that can be assembled on the roof. This means that it will take some special equipment and several crew members to perform the installation of a flat plate solar panel. Flat plate panels also require being installed in a region that is warm and sunny most of the time due to the technology needing more sunlight compared to a tube panel.

Tube Solar Panels


It's possible that you'll select a tube solar panel because of several benefits. When compared to flat plate panels, the tube design will provide better warming power when the weather conditions are chilly or cloudy. The installation is also very easy since the tube design is installed in pieces. One person can perform the installation on their own because of this, which will cut down on labor costs for the installation.

You'll also see that tube solar panels have a better performance for heating water. Expect a tube solar panel to get the water as hot as 200°F, while a flat panel will only get water up to 130°F.

The aesthetics of the tube's design is also much more appealing to have installed on a home. The tubes will be smaller than flat plates, so they won't be as noticeable.


This type of solar panel will cost more to purchase, which may make a tube solar panel not within your budget. The tubes can also stop working if they are covered with snow or ice, and the panels do not easily melt snow and ice like a flat plate design.

For more info about getting a solar powered water heater, speak to a local plumber about it, or you can try this out.