Solar panels can be an effective energy source for powering water heaters. Two main types of solar water heaters are used: solar thermal water heaters, which heat water directly, and photovoltaic systems, which generate electricity to power electric water heaters.
Solar power has a lot of advantages as a source of water heating. Sunshine is free, solar power can be used without a connection to a gas or electric utility, and solar hot water heating works in any climate. However, both thermal and photovoltaic water heating can be complicated, and variables like weather and season affect the system's ability to heat water. It's usually best to contact a thermal or photovoltaic contractor to design and install systems.