The solar powered hot water revolution has arrived and it will benefit you in more ways than one. As opposed to conventional or basic solar hot water which has been available for decades through thermal (heat) energy. Solar power hot water uses photovoltaic (light) energy and will serve an abundance of purposes to save you more money from the same roof space.
In most instances, if the water has been heated up during the middle of the day at virtually no cost, then what does the heating method matter? Surely the most cost effective solution would be the best option? To consider the benefits of one form over the other and which will ideally suit you, it’s best to have a basic understanding of the technology differences.
Conventional Solar Hot Water.
+ Cost effective.
+ Basic design.
– Singular purpose.
Essentially water, powered by a pump, moves through a thermal collector on a roof, heats up via thermal (heat) energy and is then stored in a tank, either on the roof or on the ground until it is ready to be used.
No sun? Conventional solar hot water systems require an energy-intensive booster, in the form of gas or electricity to heat the water. This was a reasonable solution a decade or more ago but technology has evolved since.
Solar Powered Hot Water.
+ Super efficient.
+ Dual purpose.
– Operating climate.
Photovoltaic collectors (solar panels) convert light energy from the sun into electric energy. The electric energy is then used to power a super-energy efficient (only 600W – 800W) heat pump on the ground which converts cold water into hot water and remains stored in a tank until the hot water is ready to be used. Once finished heating water the solar panels then supply excess energy to be used within your home for further energy savings. Much the same way a battery works.
There are often two methods to combine the operation of a heat pump with a solar energy system. An economical basic connection and a more intelligent advanced connection option.
Hot water heat pumps are equipped with a preset timer. For maximum benefits the timer is set to operate the heat pump from the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak, the period of which the solar energy system would also be working at its peak, on average.
No additional costs
Incorporate a smart energy meter inline with the power supply which has the ability to communicate with your selected heat pump. In the same way a solar battery works, the meter communicates with the heat pump should the solar system begin to export energy to the grid. The heat pump can then begin its heating cycle powered by only the excess solar energy supply. This ensures power to heat the water comes from the sun only after it is not required within the home or facility.
Solar powered hot water systems incorporating hot water heat pumps use up to 75% less energy than old electric type storage hot water heaters to heat the same volume of water. Surplus power which can be fulfilling the energy needs of your home.
For the times that the hot water storage capacity fails to suffice, instantaneous hot water can be converted via an electric booster element in both conventional solar hot water system and heat pump hot water systems.
As an example, the Bosch Compress 3000 hot water heat pump uses an economical 1.65kW booster. An energy efficient solution using 31% less energy than 2.4kW booster elements incorporated within most conventional solar hot water systems.
Ultimately, selecting a solar power hot water system vs a conventional solar hot water system of the past enables anyone to continue using free energy from the sun once the the water heater has completed it’s job of heating water. In locations where surface area is limited, the benefits are a far better use of the available area with savings in more than just heating water alone.
Fact: Japanese macaques also enjoy free hot water thanks to their local environment. Be like the macaques.
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