West Facing Solar Hot Water System?

If you are committed to sustainability then space on the North facing roof is at premium.

One option may be to look at putting the solar hot water system on a West facing roof.

This will mean you can maximise the space for north facing Photo Voltaic (PV) solar panels.

Although the solar hot water system will not be quite as efficient there are a couple of reasons why it is a worthwhile option.

    • If you check the solar alignment post you will see that its possible to get around 80% of the maximum efficiency compared with a North Facing system.
    • For most families the time when you will be using most hot water is the evening and early morning. The West facing system will have less time to lose heat before use than the North facing system.

I’m not saying West facing is best but it can be a good compromise.


For more Green Ideas see Sustainability



  1. Zoe A

    Hi Brian, love your blog.

    I’m a kiwi and I am currently looking at solar panels. I found these guys http://www.thinksolar.co.nz, well I was referred them by a friend and I was wondering if you could check them out for me?

    What questions should I ask them?
    How do I tell if they are legit?

    1. Brian Ashworth (Post author)

      The only thing I can tell you about this think solar is that the people involved have had some involvement with this Australian organisation


      I believe they are trying to duplicate this in NZ and launching with a site and a blog to publicise their company.

      The best advice I can give you is:
      Do some research so you understand what you are getting. As well as my blog there is
      Its also best to ask for them to supply references from satisfied customers and actually contact the people.


  2. Mark Dwyer

    PV operates best at temperatures around 24 degrees. The warmer the weather does not equal more power.

    We installed an Edwards stainless steel system on the west facing roof. We did our homework and this one came up the best. It has been reallt good for our family. Well priced and the guys installed it with no fuss.

    1. Brian Ashworth (Post author)

      Hi Mark

      Some pv panels do better in hot temperatures, see this post for more information http://www.anewhouse.com.au/?p=1148


  3. lola

    I think yes west facing solar hot water system would be best but I guess it will depend on your location as well.

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