Your Guide to Solar Hot Water Systems

Your Guide to Solar Hot Water Systems

When it comes to considering solar hot water systems, Perth homeowners often wonder about the whether it is a viable option for them. Upgrading to solar power systems can help to reduce energy use and with the increasing retail costs of electricity, this could make a real difference to household expenses.

The Different Options for Solar Hot Water

There are several options of solar hot water systems, Perth homeowners can choose. The main types of system are split systems with a tank on the ground and close coupled with a tank on the roof. There are also heat pumps that are considered to be based on solar-based technology.

Split systems have a collector located on the roof, with the storage tank installed on the ground or in some other location. Split system solar power systems use solar pumps and controllers to move the water to the storage tank and monitor temperatures. This activity does use small amounts of energy, but this is normally only 30 to 60 watts per hour during an eight hour day.

Close coupled systems tend to offer a lower running cost since they don’t need electricity to move the water. This energy saving can be accomplished since the system uses natural “Thermo siphoning”. The disadvantage is that this system has a bulkier heavier unit. For example, a three hundred litre roof mounted storage tank will not only have the weight of the tank itself and the three hundred kilograms of water, but there is also the weight of the collector.

Heat Pumps:

Heat pumps are not really solar but in some ways they are. Heat pumps derive a great proportion of energy from the atmospheric heat rather than direct radiant energy. The heat pump uses a compressor to extract atmospheric heat and transfer it to the water storage tank. This method is very efficient and can produce approximately 3kw of energy for each 1kw used at approximately 20°C.

The main benefit to this type of system is that it does not need direct sunlight and can be used even in the permanent shade. There is no need for a roof installation and can benefit from wasted heat in areas such as roof cavities. They also have lower installation costs compared to an on roof system.

Options for Backup Boosters:

Most of the solar hot water systems Perth homeowners may consider will require some type of backup booster. This is needed as there will be times during the year when your system will not be able to deliver water heated to the desired temperature. The backup will typically require either gas or an electric element. There are a few configurations for gas boosted systems. A condensing booster using natural gas tends to be the most efficient.

If you are considering solar hot water systems, Perth homeowners should contact us. We specialise in the installation and maintenance of solar power systems. Our team of specialist and experienced technicians is available to answer any queries and offer guidance to which is the solution best suited to your requirements.

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