How I Created a Great Garden and a Dream Home

5 Tips To Maximise Your Solar Hot Water System Efficiency

If you live in Australia, you're blessed with a wonderful natural resource that can provide your home with limitless hot water; and it's free. A solar water heating system utilises the energy of the sun to heat your water, saving you money and protecting the environment from damage by the burning of fossil fuels.

So, how can you maximise the performance of your solar water heating system? Read on to find out.

Use the back-up heating source

When your water has been heated to its maximum by the solar panels and the sun has gone down, switch to using your boiler timers to heat the water. This means that there will be plenty of cold water left in the cylinder for the sun to heat the following morning.   

You could actually switch off your boiler during the day during the spring and summer months, just turning it on to boost the solar contribution when necessary.

Choose a twin coil cylinder

If you choose a twin coil cylinder for your hot water storage vessel, you can set one section of it to be heated only by the solar water heating system. This type of set up can ease the requirement for the boiler to be used to heat the whole of the cylinder and helps to maximise the solar yield.

Make sure your pipes and cylinder are properly insulated

If you fail to ensure that your cylinder and pipes are well-insulated, you could lose a lot of your heat overnight and find that you don't have sufficient hot water for washing and showering in the mornings.

Choose an electric, self-heating shower

In a busy household, much of your solar heated water can be used up through showering, especially during the colder winter months when the panels aren't as efficient. You can help to save your solar heated water by using a self-heating electric shower, rather than one that draws hot water from a separate cylinder.

Don't regulate the hot water temperature

If you don't need high water temperatures all day, you can save the need for back-up heating by allowing the hot water temperatures to vary. Varied hot water temperatures also reduce heat loss. However, do ensure that your hot water cylinder temperature does exceed 600C regularly. Temperatures in excess of this will kill any legionella bugs that might be lurking in your hot water pipes or cylinder.

In conclusion

By following the above tips, you can maximise the efficiency of your solar water heating system. For further advice on how to get the most out of your solar panels, have a chat with your supplier.