Have you been thinking about installing a solar water heater and not sure what systems are available and what’s best for your home?
There are a number of factors to be considered before deciding on a solar hot water system. A plumber will recommend the best system for your home because solar hot water heaters should only be installed by a qualified plumber.
Their recommendation will be based on:
It is important that you understand how a solar hot water system works – as much as ensuring the plumber understands your household’s needs – so the right size is installed for your home. If the storage tank is too small there is a risk you will run out of hot water occasionally or that the booster will need to be used more often. If your storage tank is larger than what your household needs, energy will be wasted in storing excess hot water.
Hot water usage is approximately 80 litres per person per day in Australia, on average.* The types of appliances and features in your home, as well as how you use them, will affect your household’s hot water consumption. Factors that can increase your hot water usage include:
As a guide only, until you speak with a plumber, for an Apricus solar hot water system a broad indication of system sizes are:
*Solar Water Heater Guide, Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, 2013
A solar hot water heating system uses roof mounted solar collectors to absorb energy from the sun to heat water, which flows into the home.
There are various system options available, with a choice of:
A complete solar hot water system usually includes:
The solar collector absorbs heat from the sun and uses it to heat the water that goes back into the hot water heater. There are two main types of collectors.
1. Evacuated Tubes
2. Flat plates
Flat plate collectors work on copper pipes running through a glass covered collector, often connected to a water storage tank on the roof. The sun heats the copper pipes and the resulting hot water is thermo-siphoned out of storage tank
Which solar collector is the most efficient?
When higher temperatures or higher performance is required in cooler weather, evacuated tubes have a big advantage over flat plate collectors.
Evacuated tubes are the most efficient. They are also more durable and cheaper to repair should accidental damage occur.
To read more about the difference in performance for each collector type, download our Fact Sheet Evacuated Tubes v Flat Plate solar collectors fact sheet.
Keeps up with me and the family: I installed our Apricus 40 tube 400L system in the middle of winter last year… the shortest day of the year here on the mid north coast NSW – we had a really nice clear day so I flicked off the booster to “test it out” and we had plenty of hot water for the four of us. We do use the booster after periods of extended rain / cloudy weather – but our hot water bills remain minimal.
Reviewed 22/3/16 on productreview.com.au