If you have a question about solar hot water not covered below, please feel free to contact our friendly team - they'll be glad to assist you! Don't forget to check out our great range of solar hot water systems; specials and solar hot water rebate information - you can even get a free, no-obligation quote online!
Solar thermal energy is used widely in Australia for heating water for our domestic use in solar water heaters. This is an excellent and economic energy solution as by using the sun's heat for generating our hot water, we reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed to be burned (and the associated greenhouse gas emissions generated) to supply electricity to do the same thing.
Solar collector(s) are located on the roof structure, facing in a northerly direction. The sun heats the water in the collector and then goes into a tank - in the case of flat plate systems, this may also be on the roof, but with evacuated tube collectors, the tank is usually stored at ground level. The hot water rises naturally in the tank - this process is called thermo-siphoning. This water is then made available to the house, either through a gravity feed or a pump.
The colder water at the bottom of the storage tank then travels into the collector and starts to heat up. This process is a continuous cycle and can save the average household up to 75% of their hot water energy requirements and related greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about how solar hot water works.
Split system consist of north facing roof mounted collector(s) and a separate tank on the ground, usually located close to one of the major hot water consumption areas, such as the bathroom. The sun heats the water in the collector and once the water reaches a desired temperature, a sensor device activates a circulation pump which starts to pump the hot water into the storage tank on the ground. The pump also pumps the cold water from the bottom of the storage tank into the collector(s). Learn more about how solar hot water works.
The energy benefits of the two systems are about the same. While the heat loss is less in the split system as the tank is not as exposed to the elements as the roof mounted tank, some additional energy is required to operate the low wattage pump in the split system. The decision of which system to use comes back to structural design of the roof, personal taste and ease of access for servicing. Energy Matters stocks a wide range of roof mounted and split systems and same day shipping on stocked items!
While flat plate has been the most popular form of collector in solar hot water systems, the recent introduction of evacuated tube collectors has seen a shift to this form as the collector of choice given its vastly improved performance and durability in all sorts of conditions - you can see a comparison and efficiency data in our article on flat plate vs. evacuated tube collectors.
A heat pump is a little different to a traditional solar hot water systems. Heat pumps use heat energy from the air around us to heat water.
The basic principle of a heat pump is a reverse refrigerator. It uses a working fluid which vaporises as it extracts heat from the air. The working fluid then transfers this heat to the water in the tank via a coil in the tank. As the working fluid is pumped around the coil, it releases heat to warm the hot water. The release of heat turns the vaporised fluid back to liquid and the cycle begins again.
While a fridge uses the cold air and discards warm air, the heat pump uses the warm air and discards the cold air. Compared to hot water created through fossil fuel, the heat pump only requires 30% of this energy for the electricity to run the pump. Therefore 70% of the energy required to create the hot water comes for free from the heat in our environment.
Learn more about heat pump systems.
Before you can sell solar hot water systems in Australia, or achieve any of the state or federal government rebates, your product must comply with stringent Australian Standards for hot water and solar hot water. We only stock products that comply with all these standards and given our considerable buying power, we can offer some of the best prices in Australia - get a free, no-obligation solar hot water quote, view our solar hot water specials, our range of solar hot water systems and more information on our components.
If you get a better price on comparable components, contact us!
RECs are certificates that are awarded with qualifying solar hot water systems. There are are a federal government initiative designed to encourage the uptake of products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Renewable energy certificates are traded on the market by energy companies who buy them from renewable energy producers (ie. households and companies who own the systems). As part of the process, customers who purchase solar hot water systems can sell their RECs to their supplier/installer, or sell them independently to a buyer of their choice.
You can earn various amounts of RECs depending on the type of system you are replacing with a Energy Matters system. We can discount the total cost of the system you purchase from us by the value of the RECs you assign to us. Learn more about RECs and rebates on solar hot water systems
Installation can be completed within 2 to 3 hours depending on the type of system you are installing. For instance, if you are replacing an existing solar system it will be 2 hours, but if you are replacing an existing electric or gas hot water system then it will be closer to 3 hours.
Our solar hot water systems can be fitted by an authorised and accredited Energy Matters installer. You can install the unit yourself, but the services of an authorised installer must be used if you wish to claim government rebates and if you wish to gain the maximum efficiency from the system.
The collectors will need to face the equator which means if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Australia, then your unit will be positioned in a north, north westerly or north easterly position. The installer will call to discuss the installation with you prior to any work being done on your home.
Typically a single 300 litre system will adequately service a home of between 4 to 8 people comfortably, however, larger systems are available for very large households or multiple systems can be installed. All systems come with an electric booster as standard or optional gas booster; ensuring hot water 24 hours a day, regardless of weather conditions.
A base installation rate includes the solar hot water system being installed on a pitched metal roof facing north with appropriate surface area available. Additional costs will be incurred for a flat or tiled roof; any equipment upgrades and extended warranties.
If your panels or unit is damaged in a storm or by accident then your household insurance should cover any damage received (you'll need to confirm with your insurance company). Only the parts of the system which are damaged will need to be replaced. However, rest assured that the solar hot water system components we sell have been selected to withstand Australia's harsh conditions year after year.
This will depend greatly on your usage patterns - please contact our team for further information.
Yes, there are currently rebates available in most states. Both RECs and rebates take the form of a point-of-sale discount and range from $480 to $1,500 in total for residential properties. Learn more about rebates for solar hot water systems.