Hot Water System Efficiency Upgrades
The return on investment on your system can be improved by meticulously working on each heat leak from the system and adding features to conserve water.
Adding a physical water conditioner can eliminate formation of mineral deposits and soften your water without the added salt associated with ion exchange water softener system. It will also eliminate the formation of lime or calcium deposits in the water heater thereby greatly extending the water heater life.
The grid powered pump that transfers the heat from the solar collector to the water heater can be replaced with a photovoltaic panel powered DC pump for off-grid operation.
Insulating all of the hot water piping is a no-brainer. Adding an on-demand hot water recirculator to eliminate wasting water while waiting for hot water is a smart addition that conserves water while not contributing to higher energy bills.
From the ChiliPepper website: "Your solar powered water heater takes care of the water heating energy; now make the hot water delivery system green and efficient by adding the demand pump for fast hot water and water savings. Solar water heating and hot water demand pumps are a perfect combination for ecology and environmentally conscious home owners."