A decision to have a solar hot water system installed in the home is a very sound and laudable decision from the point of view of practicality and long-term sustainability. In countries like Australia, where the climate can range from extremely cold to extremely hot, there is enough logic to tap the unlimited energy of the sun for the hot water needs of the home during the summer and winter months.
Five-Point Guide to Keep in Mind
Although you can always ask your supplier for help about solar hot water systems, some suppliers are limited in their distribution capacity by the specific type of system that they carry. Here is a five-point guide to buying a solar hot water system for your home:
1. Two types. In Australia, there are typically two types of solar hot water systems available. The first type is the solar thermal collector system. It utilises either flat-plate metal collectors or evacuated tubes for collecting the sun’s energy and using it to heat the water. The flat-plate is recommended for areas that are not susceptible to heavy frosting. Instead, the system to use should be the evacuated tubes system that employs antifreeze liquid to heat the water. The second type of solar hot water system utilises a heat pump operating on electricity generated by solar panels or green power obtained from the grid.
2. Installation. If you’re installing the collector-type solar hot water system, the two major components are the solar collector panels and the storage tank. A household of four persons would typically need about two panels of solar collectors and a 300-360 litre tank. For a solar heat pump, you will need to have photovoltaic panels to generate the electricity that will run the compressor.
Installation of solar hot water systems can be somewhat complex in the sense that you need to consider the location of your solar collectors and your solar panels. These panels have to be placed on a section of the roof that has good access to sunlight for maximum energy collection efficiency.
3. Rebates and Incentives. Most state government grant rebates and bonus schemes for installed hot water systems. The main incentive is the government-regulated Small-Scale-Technology certificate. This is a negotiable certificate and can be used to apply for cash discounts upon purchase. You may check with your supplier for these incentives.
4. Price quotations. After deciding on the type you wish to install in your home, you may call for price quotes from a number of suppliers, at least two. Expect to be asked a few questions: For how many people? Any existing hot water system? Is the household connected to a gas system? What time is hot water mostly in use?
On your part, you need to ask them if the quote includes installation, and how long it will take to complete. You should also ask about the amount of STCs, system life span, and other incentives available.
5. Supplier reliability. In choosing your solar hot water system, ensure that you are dealing with the most reliable and professional providers. You can test for this quality by visiting their physical site or their website, and experience for yourself how the customer is treated.
Solar Ark: Your Premier Choice
We, at SolarArk, would be delighted to help you arrive at a well-informed decision.
When you go solar, choosing SolarArk gives you the greatest advantage. That’s because we are Australia’s leading manufacturer of high-performance solar hot water systems. Other advantages you can get include: