Rheem solar water heaters are designed as active and passive water heating systems that are using slim solar panels, tanks and accessories, to heat the water directly or indirectly utilizing the free, renewable sun's energy.
Solar heating systems by Rheem
are Energy Star qualified; they are in
top 25% for efficiency, which allows you to save 15-40% on your utility
bills, based on your water heating system.
Rheem water heating systems that are using sun's free energy are designed as solar active systems, SolPak, or systems that are using the forced circulation, and passive Solaraide.
Active Rheem solar heating is using a circulating pump to move water or solar fluid through the system and that means it uses more energy for pumps and controllers.
Passive Rheem solar heating doesn't use any mechanical device to run the water/fluid through the system; it uses the gravity.
SolPak active solar water heating systems can be found as the 80-gallon and 119-gallon systems both using HE tanks, and both having the high energy factor (2,5 for RS80-48BP model and EF 3 for RS120-64BP unit) making both solar units Energy Star qualified.
Rheem Solpak active system is using the closed loop glycol design where circulation is forced and accomplished by the pump and sensors. Solar fluid is non-toxic, food grade liquid, used to transfer the heat from the solar collector to the water inside the water tank, while providing the freeze protection to the heating system.
Rheem Solpak system is consisted of the following components:
Double, flat plate, solar collector system, with two sizes; 3' x 8' and 4' x 8', painted in black.
Solaraide high efficiency water storage tank with the double wall heat exchanger made of copper, wrap around the tank. Tank is high efficiency as it is thickly insulated to keep the stored heat longer. One 4.5 kW, 230 V heating element is used as the backup solution.
Multi-speed pump for heat transfer.
Thermal expansion tank.
Controllers, mixing valve, 4 gallons of glycol solution.
Tilt mount kit and 18 AGW sensor wire are sold separately.
Rheem provides warranty of 6 years for solar collectors, 10 years limited on the tank, and 2 years for the pump and control.
There is another Solpak active system with the tank sizes of 85 and 105 gallons that is using Marathon electric water heaters for hot water storage. When comparing these two systems you will see that Marathon water heater is actually made of strong, polybutene material that is resistant on corrosion and due to its lightweight construction is easier to install.
But, the warranty for the Marathon tank is shorter by one year and this system is not Energy Star rated.
Solaraide is the Rheem solar passive water heating system that doesn't require pump or controllers. These systems are known as thermosiphon systems, where solar tank is installed right above the solar collector. They are constructed and installed as one unit, and based on your water heating needs you can find two configurations available: RS47-21BP model with the 47-gallon and RS80-42BP with the 80-gallon storage tank, both working in the closed loop system.
This Rheem solar passive system is using another storage water tank where water is heated indirectly. Both configurations are consisted of:
Tank with the electric heating element as the backup.
Flat-plate type solar collector. One solar collector is used for 47-gallon model and providing EF of 1.3. Model RS80-42BP is using two panels and its EF is 1.5.
Installation kit (flat roof mounting rack is sold separately).
Heat transfer fluid.
All these elements, from solar passive system have 5 years Rheem limited warranty.
(Photo credit to Rheem)