On average, about 18% of home energy consumption is for water heating, the second largest consumer behind space heating. The primary technology used to do this is the tank-type water heater (both gas- and electric-powered), but solar water heating can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water.
One Block Off the Grid took a stab at answering the question: “How big a backyard do you need to live off of the land?“ It turns out, plants like corn, wheat, fruits, grains, and vegetables take a lot of space. Also, to offset the electricity required to power the average home in the U.S., which consumes about 11,040 kWh per year, one needs about 375 square feet of solar PV, or 25 average efficiency solar panels getting seven hours of sun. Check out the full infographic:
Michigan-based Great Lakes Electric has a solar hot water product with evacuated tubes that allows for creative building-integrated solar hot water. By releasing the restriction of roof mounting, as with typical solar hot water products, GLE’s unit allows for more innovative placement and ends the worries of roof penetrations and units looking like large black rooftop tarps.