So, the solar water heater output has been less than stellar the past couple months. Admittedly partially due to tempestuous weather that we obviously have no control over but also specific heater design issues.
Of course, in the summer months this is nary an issue. The thought of dousing ones self in hot or even warm water in July is utterly repugnant, however in January maybe not so bad. Rain, cloudy days and high winds do not contribute favorably to a solar water heater's effectiveness and we've been feeling the chill this winter.
The original solar water heater set up had a much larger reservoir. There was more hot water available than the current setup but it took a little longer to heat up. When it developed a leak, I decided to replace the reservoir with a much smaller one believing it would heat up and recover faster. It did heat up a little faster but it also ran out very quickly and did not recover nearly as fast as expected. We've gone back to the original design and made a few adjustments to mitigate the negative wind effect and so far it seems to be much more stable. The water is once again scalding hot and so far seems to be functioning as it should. Knock on wood.