Solar water heaters work by absorbing energy from the sun’s rays in the roof mounted solar collectors and transferring this to heat water stored in the tank. Ground mounted direct systems rely on an inbuilt circulator to push the water through the system, whereas roof mounted systems rely on a natural ‘thermosiphon’ effect. Water passes through the solar collector where it is heated, then moves out of the collector and into the tank. The tank gradually gets hotter until the water reaches its maximum stored temperature. Indirect systems use a special heating fluid, rather than water to absorb heat from the collectors. The heat is transferred to the water in the tank via a heat exchanger.
What solar hot water system is best for you?
Choosing the right solar system isn’t easy but, don’t dismay, that’s where we can help! While price will always be a consideration, it’s crucial you also receive the right up-front advice, a problem-free installation and comprehensive after-sales-service. At Cheapa Hot Water, our solar hot water experts are trained and qualified to ensure you get the best solar solution for your situation. We will visit your home and discuss with you your needs and requirements. We assess the site conditions and arrive at the best solar solution for you.
Types of solar hot water systems
For the average Australian household, electric and gas bills just continue to rise. To make significant savings, reduce your overall energy consumption, and cut your carbon footprint, upgrading to a solar solution just makes sense. A well chosen solar hot water system may cost more to begin with, but they can be significantly cheaper to run than a conventional electric or gas system.
Roof Top Solar System
If you have ample free roof space, then you are perfectly placed for solar options. Roof top solar for example, work by mounting the solar panels and storage tank together on the roof. The collectors draw the sun’s energy into fluid in the solar collectors, then the heated fluid circulates the adjacent storage tank.
Rheem’s roof-mounted solar hot water systems have storage cylinders made of either quality stainless steel or vitreous enamel coated mild steel. Stainless steel is prominent in most kitchens for its purity, aesthetics, ease of maintenance and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel acts as a natural barrier to corrosion, whereas vitreous enamel coated water heaters require a sacrificial anode. The outer casing of Rheem’s stainless steel solar range is constructed from weatherproof COLORBOND® steel. Rheem offer a choice of four contemporary COLORBOND® steel colours with their modern design roof mounted range.
Rheem’s roof-mounted storage systems come with either 5, 7, or 10 year cylinder and collector warranty depending on the model you choose. As further support Rheem has in place easily accessed service providers. These experienced technical personnel are authorised to provide you with whatever service your Rheem hot water system may require.
Split Solar System
If you have limited roof space or you prefer a more streamline look, then a split loline solar water heater may be the best solution. Whilst the solar panels are mounted on the roof, the storage tank is located at ground level.
Solar water heaters work by absorbing energy from the sun’s rays in roof mounted solar collectors and transferring it to the water stored in the ground mounted storage tank. Ground mounted systems employ inbuilt pumps to push the fluid through the system. The split design of the system reduces the roof’s structural load, as only the low profile solar collectors are installed on the roof.
Which system you choose will depend on where in Australia you live, which way your home faces and even the pitch of your roof. So it’s important to talk to one of our solar hot water specialists to determine what type of hot water heater is ideal for you.
Is my roof suitable for solar hot water?
When switching to solar hot water, the following are best suited:
1. ROOF SPACE
Most houses will use 2 solar collectors which are around 2m tall x 1 m wide each. That means you need at least 2m x 2m, plus some clearance space on your roof.
For a roof-mounted tank, you’ll need even more roof space .
2. GROUND SPACE
You’ll also need some ground space for the ground-mounted hot water storage tank, if applicable. This isn’t necessary for roof-mounted tanks.
3. NORTH FACING ROOF AREA
It is best if the collectors can be mounted facing north in order to capture the most sunlight. If you’re not sure, use a compass or go to Google Earth to check if you’ve got a north-facing roof area.
The solar collectors will need to be placed in an area of high sunlight and minimum shade. Shade from trees and surrounding buildings aren’t ideal.
Climate can also be a factor when choosing a solar hot water heater. Extreme weather areas that get frost or very high heat will need a product designed to suit the climate.
If solar doesn’t suit your home then a heat pump system is a great alternative. In the industry we call heat pumps “solar without the panels”.
More solar hot water topics
- Switching to Solar – Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) »
- Switch to solar hot water and drastically reduce your carbon footprint »
- How reliable is solar hot water? Should I switch to solar?
- Why you should switch to solar hot water »
- Why are my gas or electricity bills so high?
Switch to solar hot water
Solar hot water is our business! We are licensed solar system installers and repair technicians for all water heater makes and models. Contact our experience team for obligation free advice about the costs of switching to solar hot water and start reducing your energy bills (and your carbon footprint) today.