Can be used direct with batteries, solar panels, hydroelectric generators, and as a wind turbine dump diversion load, also solar panel dump load with most of our charge controllers with or without a diversion load already installed. Can be used with solar panels direct without any kind of charge controller (just do not connect more solar panel wattage than the elements rated wattage, and yes you can connect less solar wattage than the elements rated wattage). Can be used as an oil preheater for biodiesel etc.!
Use for DIY solar batch (bread box) water heaters as well. See our wire and cable section for selecting a power cord for the heater from your wind turbine, hydroelectric generator, solar panels, or battery setup, etc...We recommend you use our 8 gauge PV cable for this element. We also carry a variety of solar panels you can wire in parallel or series (higher voltage) for running the element. You can even start with one panel and add more later if needed.
Example: For direct solar installation with one 12 volt 45 watt solar panel you will get more or less 45 watts of heat from the element. With two 12 volt 45 watt solar panels you will get more or less 90 watts of heat from the element. This applies to all of our elements as long as your solar wattage doesn't exceed the wattage of the element.
Most electric water heaters have two element ports, one in the middle and one at the bottom of the tank. Use our DC element to replace the bottom and/or top element so you always have hot water. When your wind, solar, hydro generator, or battery is keeping your water hot then the thermostat on the AC element will never turn on unless you run out of wind or solar power. A great diversion load for alternative energy systems!
Note: If you have a gas hot water heater, you may wish to put an electric unit ahead of it. This way, the gas heater is always being fed hot water so it does not use any gas. Check around for free or discounted water heaters that have been replaced! If you're looking for a bulkhead fitting to retrofit to a non conventional custom tank build, try our bulkhead fitting. Otherwise, you can drill a slightly smaller hole in your custom built tank, thread the element in and silicone the hole using 100% silicone caulk.
Question: How many watts are required to heat one gallon of water up one degree?
Answer: It requires 2.4705 watts for one hour.