Yes! While you have your water heated by the sun and stored in a hot water tank, all solar hot water systems installed by Hot Water Heroes also come with either an electric or gas booster to make sure you have hot water all year round, even when the sun doesn’t provide enough energy.
Your booster will need to be used depending on a range of factors including, system type, family size, roof pitch and orientation, hot water usage patterns and climate conditions. It is normal for the booster to be required during periods of low solar gain (rainy / overcast weather) and during the winter months. The graph below shows the approximate solar gain throughout the year:
If there’s a period of cloudy weather, if you have friends or relatives come to stay or if you increase your washing/cleaning needs you will still have hot water to get you through thanks to your booster
Thermosiphons have both the solar collector and storage tank located on the roof. Some systems may have the storage tank located inside the roof, but this is uncommon. Thermosiphon systems may not be suitable for some roofs due to their weight. They are good for households that have limited ground space. These systems have less moving parts which means less can go wrong.
Flat plates are the most common type of collector and are generally the cheapest option. Flat plate collectors are most efficient when the sun’s rays hit the collector perpendicular to the surface. If you live in a warm, sunny climate, a flat plate collector is likely to be suitable. In cold climates, some flat plate collectors may suffer some heat loss and could possibly be damaged by frost if not adequately protected.
Split systems have the solar collector located on the roof and the tank on the ground. They also require a pump to circulate water between the tank and collector. Some existing water heaters can be retrofitted as a split-system solar water heater.
A heat pump is a different way to use renewable energy to heat water that doesn’t need solar panels.
A heat pump is a little like a reverse refrigerator. It transfers the heat in the air outside of the unit to the water stored inside the heater through a heat exchange system. In the case of heat pumps, heat is a relative term as they will still work in very cold conditions at least -10 degrees Celsius, so it will still be generating hot water for you during winter nights.
Check with state government for the latest in rebates:
Solar Hot Water is heated by the sun’s clean, free energy and provides a number of benefits:
- Provides up to 90% of your hot water heating needs (your booster covers the rest)
- Reduces your energy consumptions and carbon footprint
- Reduces your power bill
- You may be eligible for government incentives (see ‘What rebates are availbale’)