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CSA Certified Systems

Below is a list of what is soon to become obsolete solar heating equipment (if the products are still available). Solar PV will be rapidly displacing these systems and all of their inherent hydronic issues - overheating, freezing, leaks, glycol replacement, etc.

Solar PV heating is solid state - no moving parts - no line heat losses or parasitic power comsumption, simple installation and no maintenance. There is no CSA standard for this type of solar hot water system - yet. It may be years before there is one (if ever). The components are all CSA approved - the panels the inverter and the storage tank (if one is added).

SolarOntario is not a manufacturer of solar water heating packages, so we can choose from the wide variety of packages that are available. Until July of 2009 there was only one CSA certified/approved solar water heating package - now there are at least 15 and a few more are in the (long) process of being approved/certified.

Being CSA certified/approved is not the only criteria one should consider when choosing a solar water heating system. The CSA standard looks at very specific criteria: safety and determining performance. Durability is not currently addressed by the certification agency. Also, given that many of the solar packages are new and still being developed/improved, and the cost of certifiying the changes/improvements is prohibitive, some of the products may technically lose their certification/approval. (for example, if the solar loop pump is changed for a different model, the whole package must be re-certified, a process that can take over a year and cost $40,000). This situation discourages small manufacurers from getting their solar packages CSA certified, yet they may have an excellent product that actually exceed the CSA requirements.

It should be noted that the CSA solar hot water standard only applies to small pre-built solar hot water packages - typically with fewer than 4 collectors. It also does not apply to packages if that are used in "combination" solar heating systems, such as those that heat the hot water and/or the swimming pool and/or supplement space heating.

The Ontario building code requires that all custom designed solar hot water heating systems (and non-CSA approved packages) must have their design approved and stamped by a certified engineer - even if all of the components are CSA certified.

CSA Approved Solar DHW Systems - as of January 2010
Type Number & Area of Collectors
Freeze Protection Certified for Year-round or Seasonal
Rating. Annual energy from CSA test
Thermodynamics Ltd.
Nova Scotia

  Flat Plate, PV powered

  2 x 2.98 sq. m.

Closed loop glycol All year
# 2
9.94 GJ/yr.
Enerworks Inc. Ontario

  Flat Plate        

  2 x 2.874 sq. m.

Closed loop glycol All year
# 4
8.69 GJ/yr.
Atis Group (Enerworks - brand-named) Quebec

  Flat Plate        

  2 x 2.874 sq. m.

Closed loop glycol All year
# 5
8.69 GJ/yr.
Copperhill Alternative Energy Inc.

  Vacuum Tube     

  2 x 3.43 sq. m.

Closed loop glycol All year
# 9
6.35 GJ/yr.
Globe Solar Energy Inc. Ontario

  Integrated storage

  Vacuum tube      

   1 x 2.55 sq. m.

City water. Must use electric heat tracing or be drained in Winter.
Only CSA certified for seasonal use in most parts of Canada
# 10
3.34 GJ/yr.
Solar DHW Systems with CSA Approval Pending - as of January 2010
Viessmann Manufacturing Company Inc.

  Flat Plate

  2 x 2.53 sq. m.

Closed loop glycol All Year
# 3
9.50 GJ/yr.
Trimline Design Centre Inc.

  Flat Plate       

  2 x 2.98 sq. m.

Closed loop glycol All year
# 7
6.63 GJ/yr.
Heliodyne Inc.

  Flat Plate         

  2 x 2.50 sq. m.

Closed loop glycol All year
# 6
8.12 GJ/yr.
CAREarth Inc.

  Vacuum Tube  

   1 x 4.90 sq. m.  

  302 litre storage

Closed loop glycol All Year

# 8


Thermodynamics Ltd.

Flate Plate

3 x 2.98 sq. m.

(435 litre storage)

Closed loop glycol All Year

# 1

12.64 GJ/yr.

 Note: GJ = GigaJoule. 1 GigaJoule of heat is approximately equal to 1 million BTUs (British Thermal Units) or 278 Kilowatt hours (thermal).