Diagram library

The designs presented here are divided into generalized sections, but they’re really not general at all. Well, OK, some designs are — like a two-panel hot-water assist. But other sections include pool heat, ice melt and more. Browse a bit.

The Ask Rod library holds a rare collection of solar and hot water designs.

These drawings are not schematics, but ideas to get you pointed in the right direction for what can be a complex process requiring several moving parts. For instance, tank storage, thermal panel sizing, and pumps .

Solar electric is a straightforward process solar electric panels and some method of transferring it for use in the house, whether it’s through a line connection or a static battery bank. It’s all pretty predictable and standard. Solar thermal, in contrast, requires storage, the appropriate pump, determining flow height, backup, all with the goal of producing consistent hot water regardless of the weather, or the length of showers your teenagers are taking.

Solar thermal comes in a ton of varieties because each installation has its own personality. I’ve separated the designs below into loose categories, but many will be overlapped.

Panels and how to mount them

Plumbing required

Hydronic heating boilers for domestic hot water

Solar combined with boiler for domestic hot water

Large storage

Phoenix or Versa Hydro with solar input

Pool heating

 Drawings on individual components, such as pumps