Sydney and the Southern Highlands

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Your Guide To Solar Hot Water In The Southern Highlands


There are many benefits of using a solar hot water heater. Just one of the benefits is that they are efficient and cost-effective to run. Using the sun to heat water means the ongoing costs of the hot water system is greatly reduced along with your carbon footprint. At Exeter Plumbing we are solar hot water specialists. One of the main questions we get asked is what type of solar is best for the Southern Highlands.



First Lets Talk About How A Solar Hot Water System Work


A solar hot system works by utilizing the sun to heat water. When considering a solar hot water system there are many things to consider. There are two types of systems – evacuated tube and flat panel systems. The main difference between the two types besides where their tank is, is the type of solar collectors that they use.


Solar collectors are placed on your roof and their job is to heat water. Once the water is heated it is transferred to a tank. Typically flat panel systems have a tank on the roof, whereas evacuated tube systems have a tank on the ground. In the tank,  hot water rises to the top (thermo-siphoning) and is made available to the house with the help of a pump or via gravity feed. The cooler water then goes up to the solar collector to be heated. 


Solar hot water heaters are boosted with either a gas or electric booster ensuring that you have hot water even during the most cloudiest weeks. 


What Is A Flat Panel System?


A flat panel system was the first type of solar collector panel to be introduced. These panels consist of copper pipes covered with a glazed glass protector.


Flat panels are extremely effective in the middle of the day in direct sunlight however they do struggle on cloudy days. They were leading edge technology at the time, however while they are still efficient and effective newer solar collectors have been introduced.


What Is An Evacuated Tube System?


Evacuated tubes consist of two glass tubes with a copper pipe in the middle. The space between the glass tubes is ‘evacuated’ and forms a vacuum to prevent convectional heat loss. The vacuum is what makes an evacuated tube panel so efficient. The main benefit of evacuated tubes is that they loose a lot less heat than the flat panels and due to their greater surface area they are more effective in heating than their flat panel counterparts. They can also boil water at subzero temperatures and work well in overcast conditions.




An Example Of An Evacuated Tube Panel And A Flat Panel.



What Is The Best Type Of Solar Hot Water System For The Southern Highlands?


Both evacuated tubes and flat panel systems can work well in the Southern Highlands however at Exeter Plumbing we recommend evacuated tubes solar hot water systems as being more superior and the best type of system. The overcast days, rain, frost and fog makes evacuated tubes superior for their reliability and efficiency.


Many studies have been conducted and support our recommendation of evacuated tubes over flat panels for the Southern Highlands climate. Renewable Energy magazine released a paper ‘thermoeconomic and environmental analysis of solar flat plate and evacuated tube collectors in cold climatic conditions‘ in which highlights this fact. This particular study found that evacuated tube collectors are 41% more effective than their flat panel counterparts. Further studies by Energy Matters and Hills Solar also agree that evacuated tubes are better in cooler, overcast climates. Many evacuated tube collectors also have anti-frost technology which is great for those frosty Southern Highlands mornings.


For more information on all types of hot water systems head to our hot water page


southern highlands plumber roof


In this picture above, we have our Southern Highlands Plumber Reece replacing a solar hot water heater collector plate. This particular plate was damaged during a hail storm. At Exeter Plumbing, we replaced this plate with a new Thermann System which boasts hail resistance up to golf-ball size. It is more suited to the Southern Highlands climate. For the experts in solar hot water, call Exeter Plumbing today.



Contact Us Today


Whether you are thinking about getting a solar hot water system or already have one, Exeter Plumbing can help you.


If you have any questions or would like a quote or service on your solar hot water system call our friendly team on 1300 155 944.