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Solar Hot Water

Curious to gauge peoples opinions on solar hot water systems. I live in S/W Gippsland -so who is a highly recommended installer that is prepared to travel { ?] and what brands seem to be the best { ?].ie performance reliability cost installation.
Cheers Martin

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When we lived in Brisbane, we swore by our solar hot water system (SHWS). It was a 315 Aquamax with 2 collector panels (rebadged as Conenergy).

Our how water cost us next to nothing each year (no more than $3-4).

Our system was a lo larger than what we needed on a day to day basis which worked out better for us. It meant that we would have water 2-3 days/3-4 days in winter/summer if there was no sunshine. This meant that we didn’t need to boost very often and why our how water costs were extremely low.

If one has solar PV with a low FIT (that only the energy supplied to the network is reimbursed), then it is worth exploring a timer for your meter board. One can set the time to boost only at times when PV generation is usually at a peak (depending on the orientation the panels) and then it may be possible to reduce SHWS costs even more.

If I were to install a new system in Tassie (where we now live), I would opt for the more expensive stainless steel storage tanks. These have an long life and should over the life of the SHWS result in cheaper overall costs.

Unfortunately can’t help with installers in Victoria, but other may. If you know of anyone who has SHWS in your local area, it may be worth asking who installed it, what make, model and tank capacity was installed and how it has performed. This may give you a better insight to what may be needed to meet your own household demand and also reliable local installers.

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There are a number of topics where information can be found on Solar Hot water systems. I suggest that doing a search on solar hot water might pay dividends for you. Sadly it is hard to bring them altogether for you but as a start:

Some of the links may be more relevant than others but I hope they help.

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We’re in Ashwood in inner South-Eastern Melbourne. We bought a Thermann evacuated tube solar water system about 4 years ago and couldn’t be happier. Michael Lomas, a plumber who lives to the west of Melbourne, installed it for us.

It was about $6000, but (bearing in mind we have 3 teenagers) on top of the ‘service to property’ charge, we don’t pay more than about $5/month in gas.

Best of all, if you turn off the gas booster, for most of spring / summer / autumn, you can survive with just the pre-heated water from the system.

A very very astute purchase.

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