Switching to solar hot water can save you a lot of money as electric hot water systems use more power than most other household appliances. On average heating water accounts for between 30-35% of total energy used in a home. So reducing your hot water generation costs will have a significant impact on your overall electricity bill.
Depending on your roof’s orientation and water consumption, a Solar Hot Water System has the potential to reduce water heating costs by up to 95%.
If you have a SolarEdge solar power system you also have an option to install an energy diversion device, which diverts excess solar power to heat your water without the need to purchase a separate solar hot water system.
Solarpro started as a solar hot water company in 2009. We pride ourselves on our hot water installations and don’t cut corners. We only use copper piping (no cheap plastic) and 13mm wall pipe lagging to reduce heat loss. All pipework is installed in discrete pipe ducts or in the wall’s cavity where possible, and all exposed pipework on the roof is fitted in a special UV proof solar pipe lagging.
If you choose a SolarEdge system, we can configure it so that excess solar energy generated by your solar power array is diverted to heat your water rather than being sent to the electricity grid.
Solarpro can either use your existing standard electric hot water tank or our plumbers can install a new electric tank. We then install a SolarEdge energy diverter to harvest excess solar energy and use it to heat your water.
The benefit is obvious, as instead of you earning small amounts for electricity exported to the grid during the day and paying larger amounts for the electricity to heat your water, you can now heat your water at a fraction of the cost.
Imagine your Electric Hot Water Tank like a storage battery and every time there is spare power from your solar system, instead of storing it in your battery, you send it to the Hot Water tank, and store the energy in the form of Hot Water.
For those who have gas hot water, Solarpro can also convert the gas hot water tank to an electric one. This way you have control over how you heat your water and have significantly reduced the cost.
When we install the hot water diverter from SolarEdge, the product seamlessly integrates with the SolarEdge monitoring platform, letting you conveniently control water heating directly from your smartphone.
You can use one of several user-friendly modes to manually turn the device on/off, or switch to Timer or Scheduler operation. Excess solar can also be prioritised to the hot water device before other devices, ensuring your Hot Water generation benefits most from available solar energy.
- Increases self-consumption by diverting excess solar energy to the hot water tank
- Minimises the electricity needed to heat water, for reduced electricity bills
- Enables cost-effective thermal energy storage compared to lithium-ion batteries
- Delivers high efficiency of >98%
- Powers purely resistive loads of up to 4.8kW
- Reads water temperature using an optional temperature sensor
- Connects to SolarEdge residential inverters via wireless communication
- Integrates easily with the SolarEdge monitoring platform
- Makes your home even more energy efficient and smarter
A Flat Plate Collector system means that the panels sit on the roof as per the photographic sample and the tank is store on the ground, similar to a conventional electric hot water tank. Solarpro uses the quality focused Rinnai brand for our Solar Hot Water System range, and has done so for many years.
Rinnai’s flat plate solar hot water system is a high-quality, cost-effective system that provides a range of budget options on both collector panels and hot water tanks. I can have tanks of various sizes and also you can add collectors to make the hot water system bigger
There is also has the added bonus that the collectors are manufactured here in Australia. Typically, where there is a roof angled 45 degrees or less, a flat plate collector will be perfect for the job, and we have installed thousands from North Sydney to Avalon, all the way to Gosford.
The solutions look stylish and do not take up too much roof space, meaning we regularly install solar hot water collectors and PV panels on the same roof for a Solar PV & Solar Hot Water Combo.
A solar control unit ensures water circulates between the solar collectors on the roof and the storage tank sitting against a wall or for example in the garage of your home. Water heated by the sun is transferred from the collectors to the tank. If there is insufficient heat available from the sun, then an electric element or gas booster mounted on the side of the tank or on a wall boosts the temperature of the water to your desired setting. This ensures you never run out of hot water.
Key Benefits of the flat plate collector system
- Only the solar collectors are visible on your roof
- Different high efficiency collectors and long lasting tank models available
- Collectors achieve maximum efficiency using aluminium fin solar absorbers
- A tall tank, elegantly streamlined for indoor or outside installation
- No need for roof reinforcement because the tank is at ground level.
- Flat plate collectors with frost protection down to -6°C
- The system qualifies for the STC HW rebate
Evacuated tube systems are a popular and efficient method of generating hot water from the sun, all around the world.
They are designed to work efficiently all year round, minimising the boosting energy required to generate lots of hot water. While technologically using similar heating effect to flat plate collectors, they are operating differently and many customers like their stylish looks.
By replacing a standard electric hot water tank with a evacuated tube system you will make a big dent in your electricity bill, and reduce electricity consumption, running costs and environmental impact of your hot water system by up to 65%.
Solarpro has been installing these systems for over a decade from Double Bay and Rosebay in the east to St Ives in the north with excellent results. Especially near the ocean, the glass tubes are immune from corrosions and add a funky, classy element to many modern homes.
The system consists of the vacuum glass tubes on the roof and a ground mounted hot water storage tank. A small pump circulates the water from the tank through the header across the top of the evacuated tubes to absorb the maximum available solar energy for hot water creation. Did you know that this technology can convert 50% and more of the available sunlight into hot water, meaning it has very low ongoing running costs.
The system’s various tubes are each made up of two glass cylinders that are fused at each end. Both tubes are made from strong and durable Borosilicate glass. The inner glass tube is covered in a solar absorbing coating and a vacuum is generated between the tubes. This vacuum provides excellent insulation against heat loss and helps to retain up to 97 per cent of the thermal energy.
Inside the glass tube is a copper heat pipe that contains a small amount of purified water. The coating on the inner glass tube absorbs the sun’s thermal energy, thus heating the water in the heat pipe. This water evaporates and rises to the manifold at the top of the pipe. The manifold is where your domestic hot water pipes flow through and it’s here that the heat generated in the heat pipe is transferred to your water.
- Only the attractive looking solar collectors are visible on the roof
- Stainless Steel tanks available
- Tubes and tank can be installed separately
- 250 or 315 litre tank capacity storage
- Minimal impact on the aesthetics of your roofline
- No need to reinforce the roof structure as the tank is at ground level
- Solar collection tubes are frost tolerant down to -12°C
- Solar collectors available in 20, 25 or 30 tube configurations
- Tanks manufactured in Australia
- 10 years warranty on the tanks
- 15 years warranty on the evacuated tube collector
The closed coupled hot water system installed by Solarpro will give you strong longterm savings, while also reducing your carbon footprint. An electric booster is part of the system to ensure that you always have hot water, all year round.
The advantage of the close-coupled system is that it has no pump to circulate water to the roof. The water heats by convection circulating throughout the system using the heat rises theory, making it super-efficient.
When retro fitting we usually only recommend installing the close coupled systems if it is replacing an old solar system or an in-roof gravity fed heater. We believe changing the dynamics of the water flow and supply to the house can be detrimental.
Installing a closed coupled system on a roof which is replacing a tank on the ground usually means drawing water from the ground to the roof, requiring the install of new pipework. Also depending on the pipe flow, sometimes one can spend extra time waiting at the tap for the hot water to finally arrive. The cold water flowing out in the meantime is all wasted.
Therefore, which of the various Hot Water options is right for you requires an expert analysis of your needs, your home
SOLAR ROOM HEATING
Did you know we can use your excess solar PV electricity to heat a room. There is now an innovative technology available to heat your home at a fraction of the cost of conventional room heating methods.LEARN MORE
How does the Solarpro Solar Hot Water install process work?
We still offer traditional solar hot water systems if required. This is how the process works. Once we have discussed your needs e.g. family size and hot water consumption pattern etc, we will recommend the best technology for you. After that we work on the technical and aesthetic aspects of the system.
We determine the best location for the panels and the tank. Once ready to install the pipework we only use the high UV rated pipe lagging to reduce heat loss. This particular piping is rarely used by other hot water installers due to its cost, but we don’t cut corners here.
Cheap or unprotected lagging will deteriorate after a year or so, especially on the coast with the high reflective UV. With the lagging peeling off, heat loss will cause the pump to over work reducing the life of it. Therefore, using the better quality longer lasting parts will create long term savings.
How does a solar hot water system work?
- Flat plate which is suitable where tank roof mounting is necessary
- Vacuum tubes which are very efficient and great for frost prone areas
Flat plate collectors use copper pipes that run through a glass-covered collector, frequently connecting to a roof-mounted or ground mounted water storage tank. The sun’s heat warms the copper pipes, which then heats the water in the pipes and the hot water is either via pump or thermo siphon effect moved into the tank where it is stored and ready to be available for the household.
Evacuated tubes are made up of two glass tubes that are joined at the top and bottom. To create a vacuum, the distance between two tubes is evacuated. A copper pipe runs through the centre of the pipe and connects to a familiar manifold. This is then linked to a reduced flow circulation pump, which provides water to a water tank below, heating the water during the day. Because of the tank’s insulation, the water stays hot for a long time , and this hot water can be used at night or the next day.
Evacuation tube devices are even more efficient than flat plate collectors because they can extract heat from the air on a humid day without requiring direct sunlight. The suction within the glass tube increases total effectiveness in all areas. When the sun is not at its optimal angle, the performance comparison improves.
In simple terms, there are various types of solar water heaters on the market, but they all function by transforming the heat of the sun into hot water. When the sun hits the darkened surface of the solar collector panel, ultraviolet and visible light are converted to infrared radiation via heat exchange. The heat generated in what is essentially a miniature glasshouse is trapped by the glass panel above the collector surface, as well as other insulating materials. This heat is then responsible for warming the water, a bit comparable also to a hose sitting in the sun on a hot day and then the water in the hose is becoming hot.
What are three key issues that could develop for a Solar Hot Water System?
Solar water heating systems are constantly saving their environmentally conscious owners money, but these are some of the long term issues one needs to watch out for.
- Has the family size or the hot water use increased, maybe via additions to the family and are the numbers of collectors still appropriate for the hot water requirements?
- Has there been foliage growing near the collectors which is causing shadows and there prevents the unit from operating as efficiently as possible?
- Hot water expands and steam needs an opportunity to release. That’s why hot water systems, including solar hot water systems have release valves. After a few years that can get stuck, so a general maintenance check, maybe every 2-3 years will identify such an issue and see it fixed.