About solar hot water
Solar hot water - the basics
Both in Australia and internationally, the use of solar hot water has increased in popularity due to the positive effect it has on a property’s conventional energy consumption.
Understanding how your energy bill could be reduced is as easy as knowing the basics of how a solar hot water system works. It’s as simple as this:
- Solar thermal collectors (the solar panels) collect the sun’s heat (thermal solar energy).
- Water is fed from your property’s gas or electric water storage tank and pumped past the solar thermal collectors, heating the water.
- The heated water is pumped back into your tank and circulated by pipes around your property for use.
- If there’s no sun to heat the water, a backup electric or gas booster is connected to your tank maintaining the water’s heat, ensuring hot water is always available.
You can see how this process works below.
The parts that make it all happen
The components of a solar hot water system work in a circular loop, constantly feeding cold water in and pumping hot water out through interconnecting pipes. There are three main parts of the system that help with this process:
- Solar thermal collectors (the panels) – Used to capture the solar thermal energy from the sun and heat the water.
- Gas or electric water storage tank – Used to house your property’s water, pumping any cold water past the solar thermal collectors for heating, and sending this heated water around your home.
- Electric or gas booster - Used to maintain a constant level of heat in your storage tank so you always have a ready supply of hot water, even if there’s no sun.
The positives for you
Because you’re using the sun’s energy to heat your water, less non-renewable energy sources are being used. This works for you in more ways than one:
- The amount of greenhouse emissions you produce could be reduced.
Why? Because heating water is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions from the average Australian property (23% of household emissions1).
- The amount of money you spend on energy may be reduced.
Why? Because where a five star energy efficient gas hot water system saves you 15% on running costs, a gas-boosted solar hot water system can double this2. And if you’re upgrading from a traditional electric hot water system you could save even more.
- The government could rebate some of your costs.
Why? Because there are government schemes in place which reward eligible customers for choosing renewable energy sources for their property’s energy use.
Now you see how simple the workings of a solar hot water system are, take a look at the straightforward process to getting one here.
1 Source: climatechange.gov.au
2 Source: resourcesmart.vic.gov.au