Not Your Average Residential Solar Thermal Hot Water System Design

Rocket Dome solar thermal water heater
A very unique design for a home solar thermal hot water design

Most residential solar thermal hot water systems are designed to mount on your homes southward facing roof. This approach adds a lot of weight to your home and damaging holes in your roof. Now there is an option that is very different from what we have seen so far. It is called the Rocket Dome.

The Rocket Dome has many advantages over traditional solar water heating systems:

1-It requires NO holes to be drilled into your roof, saving time and money if costly roof repairs ever need to be done.

2-Using the Earth as added insulation, the water tank stays warmer longer, and saves valuable space inside your home.

3-The Ground Mounting technology allows you to find a great location for your Rocket Dome even if your roof isn’t ideal for traditional flat solar thermal panels.

4-The Rocket Dome can usually be installed in one day;

5- The Rocket Dome is far more affordable than other comparable sized solar thermal units. According to the manufacturer, in most cases its half the cost of typical solar thermal hot water systems.

Solar Water Heating Facts and Comparison To Standard Electric Water Heaters.

Rocket Dome Standard                                      Electric Water Heater
Annual Energy Cost                                                                         Zero                                                              $650 + Per Year
​Percentage of Electric Bill                                                              Zero                                                                 20% plus
​Life Expectancy                                                                         15-30 years                                                            8-12 years
​Annual Operating Cost                                                        Only the Cost of Water                       $650 plus the cost of water
​Life time Operating Cost                                                     Only the Cost of Water (12 year)                        $7800
Storage Capacity                                                                           200 Gallons                                                 40-50 Gallons
Added Value to your Home                                                         $7,000 +                                                            Zero
Federal Tax Credit                                                                            30%                                                                  Zero
Greenhouse Gas Saved                                                                    50 tons = 100k Drive miles                         Zero



About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.


  • Ivan Shannon says:

    Please can I have further information on the Rocket Dome.


    Ivan Shannon

  • Bradley says:

    I’m a solar thermal entrepreneur in SA. We currently use conventional hot water cylinders with either of flat plates or tubes. This application looks interesting, I would love to know more. Please send me in the right direction, SA has an energy crisis, a beligerant state owned energy monopoly and a climate that couldn’t be more perfect for solar. These things will fly if there application is as simple and cost effective as this article claims. Please put me in touch!

  • Dave says:

    What a joke. If the Dome is 3 ft. In diameter, that’s only 7 sq. ft. of absorber area. Even at 250 BTU’s per sq. ft. input at 70% efficiency, that’s only 1,225 BTU’s, or enough energy to raise 200 gallons of water about 3/4 of one degree.

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