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Another Solar Myth Bites the Dust

Fall 2016
This online-only article is a supplement to the Fall 2016 print edition of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 30, 2016
Way back in 1978, I installed my first solar water-heating system. I continued with solar thermal, installing new systems until tax credits expired in 1986, and I kept nearly all the local systems up and running for years after that. It became painfully obvious to me that simplicity is essential for the durability and longevity of any solar-thermal system. Complex systems just die young. Back then, the holy grail of solar thermal was to come up with a system that would cost $1,000—which nobody ever really succeeded in doing. These days, you expect to pay $6,000–10,000 for a solar hot-water system, installed.

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