Solar Hot Water – Life is rarely so simple!

Published on Author Apricus AustraliaLeave a comment

Solar hot water systems are highly efficient in their use of solar sunlight to heat water. The efficiency of solar hot water heaters has increased so much over the past 30 years that solar powered hot water is possible year round for most Australian homes. Evacuated tubes are super efficient even in cold climates. On cloudy days, gas or electric boosters kick in to ensure you are never without hot water.

 

The cost of energy is rising and the effect of pollution increasing. Water heating accounts for approximately 30 percent of an average household’s total greenhouse gas emissions and about the same proportion of total household energy use with the installation of an electric boosted solar hot water system, the average Australian household would cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 34 tonnes over a 20 year period. This jumps to a saving of over 100 tonnes over a 20 year period for a gas boosted system.

 

Finding the right solar hot water supplier for you can seem difficult but if you keep these guidelines in mind you will find the right solution:

  • Ensure all companies are quoting on the same specifications.This will make it much easier for you to make an informed decision
  • Will the supplier facilitate the complete process, including tank selection, and installation, do they have a trusted installer network to call upon?Their level of experience and advice can be the decisive factor in choosing the right solar hot water – you want a partner for life.
  • What experience does the company have installing solar hot water systems similar to yours?If you have a special need such as pool heating, make sure the company you choose has the appropriate experience and are innovative and can offer to retrofit existing products.
  • What warranty on the installation of the system does the supplier/installer provide?Ensure the supplier/installer will guarantee the quality of their installation.

 

Selecting the right solar hot water for your household can save you money in the long term. Ensure the solar hot water system is the right size for your household. It’s important to choose a system with enough capacity to provide sufficient free hot water when the system is operational.

Capacity (litres) Capacity (litres)
150-220 1-2 People in the house
220-300 3-4 People in the house
300+ 5+ People in the house

Because a hot water tank is the most efficient way to store energy, it is a good idea to not only consider the number of people in the use but how the water is consumed – Baths use x3 as much hot water as an average shower!!

 

Consider the ROI (Return on Investment). Using the sun’s energy to heat water you will reduce your household electricity or gas bill each year, a considerable saving each year for the average family (thousands of dollars over the life of the system).

How efficiently does the system convert sunlight into heated water? All accredited systems are tested for efficiency and compared to a standard electric hot water system. The more energy displaced, the more Small-scale technology certificates (STCs) are assigned to it. Therefore, the more STCs a system has, the more efficient it is (1 STC = 1 MWH of displaced energy over a 10 year period). See The Clean Energy Regulator page for further details. Most states in Australia also have added grants and incentives to adopt the renewable technology, solar hot water has the highest STC’s available until 2030.

 

Sunlight converts cold water into hot water. No gases are emitted and no one gets hurt. Life is rarely this simple!