Hot Water System

Choosing The Right Hot Water System.

When you are ready to install a new Hot Water System, it is wise to talk to an expert or otherwise educate yourself on the various types and brands of systems on the market today.
Due to continued improvements over the years and the different technologies used in Hot Water Systems available today, not one hat fits all.
You could well invest in a system that either, over delivers or under delivers for your needs, and spend a lot of money unnecessarily.
There are basically four types of system you could use.

Rheem Gas Storage Hot Water SystemGas Hot Water System:

A gas system is one of the most common systems in use today. They are basically a storage water heater. The water is heated by a gas source, and kept in an insulated tank.
The benefit of storing the water rather than consistently heating new volumes is that, depending on your water usage habits, you could save a lot of money in terms of resource consumption. However, if you don’t actually use all of the water in the tank it will cost even more money to retain the temperature.
Also, the hot water flow is not continuous. When the tank is depleted it must be refilled and reheated.
However Gas as an energy source is usually cheaper than electricity.

Rheem Electric Storage Hot Water System.Electric Hot Water System:

This system is similar to the gas hot water system in that the water is kept within a larger tank while being continuously heated. However, with an electric tank system, a heating element is placed within the tank to constantly keep the water inside at a desired temperature. The downside is that the water cannot constantly be heated and fed through the system at fast speeds. At best, a consistently hot water supply is available on extremely low flow settings, making an electric tank system the ideal set up for a faucet or sink.

A Tankless Hot Water System:

Rheem Tankless Hot Water System.A tankless system provides hot water only as needed. When you activate the hot water at a faucet, water is sent through a powerful heating unit rather than drawn from a consistently heated source. Thus, money is saved on consistently heating a standing supply of water, over and over. Also water can be constantly drawn and heated, meaning you avoid having to wait for a tank to refill to continue use. The issue with tankless systems is that they frequently cannot be implemented for simultaneous use, such as running a washing machine and a shower, making them ineffective for home plumbing. A larger tankless system can combat this, but tends to be more costly.

Heat pumps

Heat Pumps are suitable for moderate – warm climates and average size families. Ideal replacement for an electric water heater.

Usually when you think of solar hot water, panels and a collector tank installed on a roof spring to mind – a traditional solar hot water system.

A heat pump is a different way to use renewable energy to heat water – that doesn’t need solar panels! Heat pumps can save you a bundle of cash on your hot water bills, as they use approximately one third the energy of an electric water heater. Additionally, there’s generous rebates available making them an extremely economical option!

 How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump is a little like a reverse refrigerator. It transfers the heat in the air outside of the unit to the water stored inside the heater through a heat exchange system. In the case of heat pumps, “heat” is a relative term as they will still work in very cold conditions – at least -10 degrees Celsius, so it will still be generating hot water for you during winter nights. How is that possible?

External air is drawn into the heat pump system via a fan into an evaporator containing a special type of refrigerant, which is stored in piping. The refrigerant used is called R134a, which isn’t a CFC, so it doesn’t negatively affect the earth’s ozone layer.

R134a has an evaporation or boiling point of -26C; whereas water has a boiling point of 100C. Temperatures that feel very cold to us are still more than enough to make the refrigerant “boil”. The air that has been drawn into the system, which is far warmer than the refrigerant, turns the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas inside the heat pump’s piping.

A compressor then pumps the now gaseous refrigerant through a small valve, which compresses it; and as a result of the process generates a great deal of heat.

A heat exchanger transfers the heat from the heated refrigerant gas pipes to a tank where water is stored.

The temperature of the refrigerant has now dropped dramatically as the heat has been drawn away, so it returns to a liquid state and the heat pump cycle begins again.

Solar Hot Water Systems:

Solar hot water systems work effectively in Victoria using mature and established technology. You can now convert almost any existing gas or electric water service to solar.

Using the sun’s energy to heat water can reduce your household hot water bills by more than 60% each year, that’s a saving of around $200 each year for the average family. This could add up to thousands of dollars saved over the lifetime of the system.

Solar hot water systems also help conserve our natural resources and the environment. Converting an existing electric water heater to solar reduces as much greenhouse pollution as taking one car off the road each year.

Solar water heaters are generally equipped with gas or electric boosters to ensure you are never without hot water. Technology advances in recent years mean systems are now 20% more efficient than their counterparts of 30 years ago and frost problems have now been eliminated.

How does it work?

Solar hot water systems use the sun’s energy to heat water in much the same way as water in a hose left on the lawn gets hot on a sunny day.

In a direct heating system, water is heated as it circulates through flat, glazed panels (solar collectors), located on the roof of a house. The heated water is then stored in an insulated storage tank, located either directly above the collectors or on the ground like a conventional hot water system.

An auxiliary heater is also included in the system, to boost water temperature on days when solar energy may be insufficient to meet all your hot water requirements. Boosters may be run on off-peak electricity, gas (natural or LPG) or solid fuel. Solar collectors typically consist of a blackened metal absorber plate within a glazed and insulated metal box (flat-plate collector). Pipes attached to the absorber plate carry the liquid that is heated by the sun.

Collectors should be positioned on a north-facing roof (no more than 45° east or west of north) at an angle between 15° and 50° (standard roof pitch is usually sufficient). Other roof orientations may also be suitable, provided the unit is mounted on a frame to face north.

 

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