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Why Solar Hot Water is such a Hot Topic

Solar Hot Water is one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy consumption and costs. This will become even more important when the Carbon Tax is introduced and electricity prices increase even further.

Electricity consumed to heat water accounts for around of 37% to 45% of the average homes electricity bill. By installing a solar hot water system, you can save up to 75% of your water heating costs.

Government Rebates are available and are non-means tested. This can save up to $1600 off the cost of a system. In addition, Small Technology Certificates (STC’s) provide a further price off-set depending on the size of the system installed and the market price of the STC’s. This can amount to $400 to $1000 off the installed cost. The government rebates are expected conclude 30 June 2012

How do Solar Hot Water systems work?
When sunlight strikes the darkened surface of the solar collector panel, the ultraviolet light is  is trapped by the glass panel above the collector surface along with other insulated materials, and generates heat in a manner similar to a mini-greenhouse. This heat is what warms the water

There are 3 different types of Clean Energy Hot Water systems on the market. These include Flat Panel Solar Collector, Evacuated Tube Solar Collector, and Heat Pump hot water systems.
Flat Panel Solar Collectors systems are the most common seen on roofs, as it is a technology that has been around for a long time. Flat Panel Collectors work best when the sun is directly above; as the UV Rays generally reflect off when the sun it is at an angle.

Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water Systems are the most efficient and effective. These long tubes consisting of 2 layers of glass with a vacuum sealed layer between them; work by absorbing the sun’s energy, trapping it like a giant thermos flask, and efficiently transferring heat to the water supply. One of the benefits gained is the round face of each tube is always perpendicular to the sun, which catches more UV rays at all angles. They are sleek, stylish and super-efficient.

Heat Pumps are not quite in the class of solar hot water, as they do require electricity to operate. The principle of operation is similar to a reverse cycle air conditioner, transferring the heat from the outside air to the water stored in the tank through a heat exchanger. Heat Pumps can save you up to one-third of the energy consumed by a conventional electric hot water system. However; many systems cannot be connected to off-peak power which therefore reduces the savings gained, and many have a reputation of being noisy and should not be installed near living areas. The Clean Energy Centre only recommends a heat pump as a last resort; if shading and other restrictions make a solar hot water system unviable.

It is important to get expert advice to help determine which type and size of solar hot water system best suits your needs. The Clean Energy Centre has highly trained solar experts to provide advice and assistance along with one of the largest ranges of solar hot water brands and systems on the market. Feel free to contact us for advice, designs and pricing..
Origin Energy, Australia’s largest electricity utility, says the energy industry has underestimated the onset of disruptive technologies such as solar PV systems and battery storage. In comments...
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