Solar Hot Water

Adding to the efficiency of the GreenHeat System is the option to integrate a solar hot water system as a pre-heater. Solar panels or tubes and a storage tank can be connected to the GreenHeat system to work in conjunction with the Rinnai hot water boiler. Using the solar-heated water for your domestic usage will result in a significant saving on your gas bills, plus a welcomed reduction to greenhouse gases emitted by the burning of fossil fuels.

Please note – The solar-heated water although is connected to the GreenHeat system, it is not a source for the hydronic heating and it is not possible to achieve heating for an entire home solely from the use of a solar system. Gas is the only fuel with the capacity to heat the water volume required at a fast enough speed to provide efficient hydronic heating. The addition of solar is purely a benefit for the domestic hot water only.

Hydrotherm installs Apricus Evacuated tubes and Edwards closed coupled systems. We highly recommend the choice of stainless steel tanks over vitreous enamel, due to stainless steel as natural anti-corrosive properties.

Apricus Solar
Utilises evacuated tube technology for harnessing the sun’s energy. Apricus collectors are designed with a round absorber surface that will passively track the sun throughout its daily diurnal cycle. This results in a more stable heat output throughout the majority of the day, not just at midday where a typical flat plate collects most of its energy.

Evacuated Technology- Apricus collectors are comprised of two glass tubes fused together at the top and bottom. The air between the two tubes is evacuated to form a vacuum. The structure is therefore very similar to a thermos flask you may use to keep water hot. The outer layer of the inner tubes is coated with a special material that absorbs sunlight very efficiently. The vacuum layer insulates very well against heat loss, providing excellent performance in cold weather.

Frost Protection-Along with a heavily insulated manifold, pipes and tank, the system is pre-programmed to automatically circulate the water between the solar panel and the warmer tank water in order to protect against freezing. The physical nature of running water also ensures a lower freezing point.

Edwards Solar
For installations where there is limited ground access for storage tanks, Hydrotherm chooses Edwards close coupled solar systems. The stainless steel storage tank is mounted horizontally above the flat panel solar collectors on the roof.

Close Coupled-The Edwards LX series uses a special anti-freeze fluid to transfer absorbed energy to heat the water indirectly. With an indirect system, water does not pass through the collector panels; instead the antifreeze mixture is circulated from the collectors through a jacket which is wrapped around the storage tank, transferring the heat into the water.

Frost Protection- The benefit of this indirect heat exchange process is that the system can be used confidently in frost prone areas, without risking damage to the system.

Solar Hot Water Rebates
Domestic water heating is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions from the average Australian home, accounting for around 23% of household emissions. To promote improved sustainable living, programs and initiatives have been set up by Federal and State governments to provide home owners financial incentives for the uptake of Solar.

STCs (Small-scale Technology Certificates)– Applicable solar systems when installed in a new or existing home are awarded with a number of certificates that loosely relate to the ability of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These certificates are tradable commodities, just like shares in the Australian Stock Exchange. Like other commodities, the price of STCs varies with supply and demand. Environmental traders purchase these certificates off the solar system owner at the then current offered price per STC (formerly known as RECs).

VEECs (Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates) – Are a key initiative of the Victorian state government to encourage consumers to embrace energy efficient technology within their homes. In the case of solar hot water it means to have an inefficient hot water system decommissioned and replaced with a solar hot water system. This is only applicable when replacing an existing gas hot water storage system.

The Victorian Government rebate– The Victorian Government rebate was formed to encourage homeowners with standard gas hot water systems to replace them with more efficient solar-boosted hot water systems. As of late June 2013 this rebate has been discontinued and is no longer available.

REBS (Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme)– Was formed by the Federal Government to encourage homeowners to replace electric hot water systems with more efficient solar-boosted hot water systems. As of late February 2012 this rebate has been discontinued and is no longer available.