When Choosing a Solar Hot Water system, you have a few options.
- Roof mounted panels boosted by either gas or electricity
- Heat Pump
Roof Mounted Systems
Roof mounted solar systems use the heat of the sun to directly heat water which sits in the collectors on your roof. You can choose between systems with both the collectors and the tank on the roof or split systems which are more streamlined and have the solar panels (collectors) on the roof and a tank on the ground which looks like a conventional hot water system.
These systems work by pumping water up onto the roof and into the bottom of the collectors, as the water heats up, it rises to the top and then escapes into a pipe which fills a tank. If the water in the tank isn’t hot enough or you run out of water, a booster will kick in which works like a conventional hot water system. Where possible, always boost with gas as this is much more cost effective.
Heat Pumps work much like an air conditioner turned inside out, the cool air escapes and the warm air is used to heat the water inside the tank. In regions on the north east coast of Australia, Heat Pumps can be more efficient than roof mounted solar hot water systems due to the high amount of cloud cover in these regions and also because there are no roof mounted components, they’re less susceptible to storm damage.
Here are the benefits of Heat Pumps:
- Simple installation and no unsightly panels on your roof.
- You can run these using a timer so you can take advantage of off peak rates.
- Works well if you have a shade covered roof.