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Solar hot water in Canberra?

By 7 January 2011 38

We are on the market for a new hot water system as our old electric model is cactus.

I’m wondering if anyone has any comments on their experience with solar hot water in Canberra, brands, efficiency, relability?

I am currently comparing Solahart and Edwards. Edwards has a stainless steel tank and seems to have better quality fittings, but the panels are not as efficient as the Solahart ones. I’m concerned that in winter this will mean more days using the booster. Solahart seems to have great efficiency, and gets more RECs than the Edwards, but the tank is steel and hence has to have a sacrificial anode.

Thanks for any info you can give!

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38 Responses to
Solar hot water in Canberra?
dpm 10:06 am
07 Dec 12
#31

mtrax said :

I’m also looking at a Solar Hot water system, and wanted to know if people can recommend some installers , specifically the by Apricus or Hills ie a Evacuated tube with Gas boost.
thanks

Please read this re: Hills solar apparently getting out of solar hot water business:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2004844

Apparently warranties will be honoured, but they can’t guarantee spare parts won’t run out one day before then… Very sad to see really.
I’m not sure if it’s 100% true (nothing on their web site but I also heard the same from a plumber last week) so you may want to clarify with an installer if getting a quote…. :-(

Pitchka 11:29 am
07 Dec 12
#32

We have had one of these since we bult a few years ago..
http://www.edwards.com.au/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=852

Specially desined for frosty climates as the unit is designed to avoid heat loss..

On frosty days followed by cloudy days (little to no sun) we have the booster turn on twice a day, 5-5.30pm just in time for when we get home, and then from 4-4.30am, for the mornings… Needless to say, the booster function in the Edwards system are sensational.. Our quarterly bill over the winter period increases on average by $100 per quarter.

Spring through to almost winter, i only turn the booster on when needed for 30 minutes…

I have only used it 3 or 4 times for 30 minutes in the last 2 months.

betchern0t 9:06 am
30 May 16
#33

We installed apricus electric boost, 415l and 30 tube on 24/5/2016. After two quotes and reviews of service we went with 6 star plumbing also known as http://www.solarhotwatercanberra.com.au/. They were a pleasure to deal with. They noticed some cracked tiles on the roof and reported them and also replaced them from my spares. It was an all inclusive service including both high frames to to sit the tubes facing north on an eastern facing roof and all the electrical work including timer. We had some bricks piled in the way so they moved them without bothering us and clean up was excellent.

Their website is worth a look because it has the best information on this stuff I have found.

Cheers Paul

Nilrem 11:29 am
30 May 16
#34

semaj said :

About 6 weeks ago I put in an Apricus evacuated tube system with electric boost, which I had installed by 6 Star Hot Water and Plumbing.

Couldn’t be happier with the product and the installation. The guys from 6 star where some of the most professional tradies I’ve ever dealt with. They even took every single scrap of rubbish with them when they where done.

Even with all the rainy days we’ve had recently, I’ve only had to use the electric boost once.

+1 for evacuated tubes. Only need to boost if you have a couple of days of cloudy weather, even at this time of year. Very impressive.

rubaiyat 12:15 pm
30 May 16
#35

Was at a conference a month ago where one supplier recommended installing a larger PV array and using a heat pump for both heating/cooling your house and heating your water.

Said it was simpler, cheaper and reduced the equipment required to get the job done.

Maya123 1:41 pm
30 May 16
#36

Nilrem said :

semaj said :

About 6 weeks ago I put in an Apricus evacuated tube system with electric boost, which I had installed by 6 Star Hot Water and Plumbing.

Couldn’t be happier with the product and the installation. The guys from 6 star where some of the most professional tradies I’ve ever dealt with. They even took every single scrap of rubbish with them when they where done.

Even with all the rainy days we’ve had recently, I’ve only had to use the electric boost once.

+1 for evacuated tubes. Only need to boost if you have a couple of days of cloudy weather, even at this time of year. Very impressive.

That depends on how many tubes you have. I find I need the booster for about a month a year. A friend has a similar system with more tubes (and a bigger storage tank) and he needs the booster less often. Solar hot water is the way to go.

Nilrem 2:52 pm
30 May 16
#37

rubaiyat said :

Was at a conference a month ago where one supplier recommended installing a larger PV array and using a heat pump for both heating/cooling your house and heating your water.

Said it was simpler, cheaper and reduced the equipment required to get the job done.

Someone tried to sell me a heat pump hot water system. I wasn’t at all convinced that it was better than evacuated tubes and went for the latter.

Maya123 3:48 pm
30 May 16
#38

Nilrem said :

rubaiyat said :

Was at a conference a month ago where one supplier recommended installing a larger PV array and using a heat pump for both heating/cooling your house and heating your water.

Said it was simpler, cheaper and reduced the equipment required to get the job done.

Someone tried to sell me a heat pump hot water system. I wasn’t at all convinced that it was better than evacuated tubes and went for the latter.

Reading the following link, I’m not sure they are right for Canberra.
http://yourenergysavings.gov.au/energy/hot-water/heat-pump-hot-water

“Is a heat pump right for you?
Whether a heat pump is the best choice for you depends on your particular circumstances. Electric heat pumps have a range of advantages and may be useful in situations where:
there is limited space or access
solar energy may not be ideal because of limited roof access, lack of sunlight, poor orientation or shading
natural gas is not available.

Heat pumps work best in warm, humid climates. In cold, dry climates where temperatures often reach freezing point, a heat pump may not be the most efficient system to choose. They make a low humming sound similar to an air conditioner so you need to take care in locating them to reduce the impact of noise. Heat pumps may require an electric booster if operated in regions where it is cold. The cost of running a heat pump may increase if the booster has to kick in during the day when electricity tariffs may be high.”

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