Ridge Vent Solar Hot Water Heater Adorns Your Roof

Among the many clever uses for solar panels these days, the Ridge Vent System by Greenward may be one of the most ingenious. This hot water system for a standard shingled roof uses the heat that naturally accumulates in the attic of your home to essentially turn your entire roof into a solar collector.

As the sun beats down on the dark grey shingles of your roof, the heat rises and flows out through the ridge vent around a series of PEX plastic tubes. located along the ridge line. This heats up an ethylene glycol and water mixture that is then pumped downstairs to a heat exchanger in the basement, preheating the water before it gets to the water heater. The existing hot water heater only fires up when needed.

image via Treehugger

image via Treehugger

According to the company, the average attic temperature is 120 degrees F., which means the Greenward Ridge Vent System has the power to reduce household energy consumption by just over 12 million BTU’s a year and reduce CO2 emissions by just over 1,400 pounds annually.

Ridge Vent System [via Treehugger]

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.