The use of solar energy for increasing the amount of water heating inside the solar still unit provided an important basis for various process designs in this research. Concerning the wide use of solar energy, solar panels have been used for heating water through thermal elements. In the first setup, a cylindrical parabolic collector (CPC) was used together with 300-watt and 500-watt solar panels, the results of which were then compared with each other. Based on the results the system best performed when more powerful solar panels and a longer CPC device were used. In the second setup, solar heating was achieved by direct use of solar still units. According to comparative results between the two experimental setups, the use of direct thermal elements in the solar still unit provided better performance compared with the use of indirect thermal energy. The highest amounts of freshwater were 3.679 kg and 3.945 kg per day in the first and the second setups, respectively.