Solar Power FAQs
Installing a solar hot water system will significantly reduce your hot water costs and reduce your impact on the environment. Heating water is the single largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions from the average Australian home (excluding vehicles), accounting for 28 percent of home energy usage. A solar hot water system will:
Source: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts)
Evacuated tubes harvest more of the sun’s energy than flat plate systems throughout the day. Even in colder winter months, evacuated tube systems work very efficiently, drastically minimising reliance on gas or electric boosting.
Evacuated glass tubes provide superior daily heat output due to the cylindrical absorber shape always being perpendicular to the Sun (Positive Sun Tracking). Insulation properties of the vacuum in the solar evacuated tube allow up to 97 percent of the heat from the sun to be retained.
The large surface area of the internal copper heat pipe and high water turbulence within this pipe provide rapid transfer of heat to the water flowing through the top manifold. The sealed evacuated tubes, tri-oxide coating and freeze protected heat pipes, all provide maximum solar gain even in the coldest areas and during cloudy or overcast days.
The system’s light weight means it can be installed on more types of roofs and can be cheaper to install than flat panel systems. The evacuated solar tubes are also designed to withstand extreme forces. Tubes can be replaced individually for $30 each which is another significant advantage compared flat-panel systems where, in the event of damage, the entire system would have to be replaced for around $600.
No. We install solar hot water systems with a gas or electric booster as a back up so you will always have hot water on tap regardless of solar productivity.
Solar hot water systems in Australia generally fall into two categories: (1) Flat panel systems and (2) Evacuated tube systems. EnviroShop Solar generally recommends evacuated tube systems as they represent the highest efficiency systems on the market.
Rebates are available whenever you’re replacing an old system. To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions generous Federal and State Government incentives are available, making the purchase of solar hot water systems very affordable. Different rebates & incentives are applicable depending on the type of system and circumstances of the installation.
For example, new homes are eligible for a rebate through the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC’s) scheme. On the other hand, homes older than 12months are eligible for a range of federal and state incentives when replacing existing gas or electric hot water systems.
No matter what your situation, EnviroShop Solar will advise you on the most efficient system, which takes best advantage of the available rebates.
EnviroShop Solar hot water systems are designed with the storage tank separate from the solar collector panel so your collector panel and storage tank are normally located separately. This is discreet and practical and also means you won’t need to strengthen the roof to hold the water tank.
For best efficiency and to qualify for rebates, the solar collector panel needs to face as close to due north as possible. Up to 70 degrees west and 50 degrees east of due north is also suitable. The solar collector panel needs to be inclined by between 17 to 50 degrees.
Tilt frames are available if your roof does not have adequate pitch or orientation. So everyone can enjoy the benefits of solar hot water.
Even on a cloudy or cool day, an evacuated tube solar hot water system will still convert light into heat. On very cold and cloudy days or after extended poor weather, the gas or electric booster will automatically switch on. This means you will always have hot water.
Evacuated glass tubes are naturally self-cleaning when it rains due to their cylindrical shape and therefore their performance is not reduced by dirt or pollutants.
EnviroShop Solar installers are fully authorised and accredited to install solar hot water systems and will typically install your system in one day.
EnviroShop Solar systems are covered by warranties and are designed to stand the test of time. If your unit is damaged in a storm or by accident then your household insurance should cover any damage received, however you will need to confirm this with your insurance company.
Evacuated tubes are particularly robust. The minimum standard in Australia for evacuated tubes is 1.6 mm glass and they must withstand a 25mm ball of ice fired at a velocity of 90k/h. All our evacuated tube systems toughened glass tubes designed to withstand stresses well in excess of Australian minimum standards. Melbourne experienced one of the most destructive hail storms in March 2010 with cricket-ball sized hail reported in some areas. Almost all our collectors withstood the storm — a great testament to their strength
Replacing individual tubes if necessary is a low cost maintenance compared to replacing a full solar flat panel.
Evacuated tubes are designed to cope with the extreme high and low temperatures we experience. In tests our evacuated tube systems have been tested at minus 29°C and achieve the maximum level 2 Australian standard for frost protection (-15°c).