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Solar flat plate collectors usually range in size from about 32 square feet (4 x 8 ft) or 3 square metres and can weigh more than 200 pounds or 100 kilo-grams each. One square foot (1000 cm2) heats about two gallons or 10 litres of water per day to well over 70oC. Therefore a single panel of 20 to 30 square feet will heat about 60 gallons (300 litres) of water which is about the size of a standard hot water storage tank.
In general, you will need about 10 to 16 ft2 of flat plate collector area per person and about 1.5 to 2.0 gallons of hot water storage per square foot of collector area. So for a family of four persons this translate into 40 to 60 square feet of collector plate area and 60 to 120 gallons of storage. Then a solar hot water heating system for a family of four would need at least two standard solar flat plate collectors of about 32 square feet (4 x 8 ft) each.