ATLG Solar Hot Water and Solar Panels have been in the solar industry since 1990.
If you’ve been researching solar for years and you’re still as confused as you were on day 1, you need to talk to us. We can take all the confusion out of solar.
Hi, I’m Shane Miller and I’m the owner and operator of ATLG Solar. You’ll be dealing with me for the whole process from;
- is solar right for you?
- what solar system is best for your home?
- the solar panels installation process
- explaining how it all works
- after sales service
- equipment maintenance
- 1 Solar Panels Vs Solar Hot Water Only.
- 1.1 Solar PV (Photovoltaics) Panels Advantages
- 1.2 Advantages of Solar Water Heating
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Solar Panels Vs Solar Hot Water Only.
People are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and switch to environmentally friendlier options in the market. Solar has long been one of the most popular options when it comes to renewable sources of energy. Companies have invested a lot of money in research to make solar energy more reliable. The efficiency of solar panels has continued to improve, making it cheaper and more reliable source of energy. The government has introduced various schemes to encourage people to switch to renewable energy with some states providing tax breaks for people who opt to go with renewable sources of energy.
Despite the efficiencies of solar panels and our wonderful climate here is Australia we still lag behind many countries in solar energy production.
Solar thermal water heating is a temperamental thing. Water expands when it freezes and it can weight a lot, it can also cause scaling damage to your pipes when it boils. Solar heaters work efficiently and can even last for decades, but they will need regular inspections from time to time. When these systems fail, and it has been shown that it may not be the way of the future except for low-end usage such as swimming pools.
For a long time now, people have always known that the efficiency of the solar thermal technology for water heating outweigh the convenience that comes with electric water heating.
Each of the options has its own advantages and disadvantages. Although the efficiency of your system will depend on the system you use, there are some common similarities.
Solar PV (Photovoltaics) Panels Advantages
According to Wikipeda;
Photovoltaics are best known as a method for generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. The photovoltaic effect refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a higher state of energy, allowing them to act as charge carriers for an electric current.
Solar Panels Have a Lower Upfront Cost
With solar thermal, you can expect to spend between $7,000 and $10,000 for a family of four before incentives. Heat pumps powered by PV cost between $1,000 and $2,000 including the labor. For the additional PV, you can expect to spend between $3,500 and $6,000. This means the total you can expect to spend is from $5,000 to $8,500 before incentives.
Solar Panels Are Easier To Install
It is much easier to replace a water heater with another single tank and adding 3 to 5 more modules to a PV system than doing a replacement of tanks and rooftops panels that are usually heavy and must be charged and pressure tested after the installation is done. This means there will be fewer chances of an installation error occurring during the process. You can easily do it yourself when you know how.
Needs less space
Two tanks are usually needed because the thermal system competes with the backup source and can limit the solar fraction by 60%. One tank will be for the solar and the other for the backup. You can easily save space by using a tankless heater, provided the tankless heater is able to modulate the heat flow while being able to meet the maximum demand.
No need of maintenance
One weakness that comes with the solar thermal is that when the system fails or stops working, it not only fails to produce energy but can also start its own self-destruction. The circulator pump and the differential controller must be inspected every year to ensure that the system is functioning well and that there is no corrosion or scale that has begun that may cause the system to fail. These inspections are done on a yearly basis and they can cost half the gas savings you are making yearly.
They cannot overheat
One problem that many people overlook when it comes to solar thermal heating is overheating. The solar energy delivered in January is twice that delivered in July. This means the system will tend to over perform in January. This will lead to a period of stagnation where there is no use for the solar heat and no flow through the panels. The panels will heat and can cause damage and accelerate the deterioration of collector parts. There have been radiator systems added, but there has been no concrete data to show how much it is required to cool the collector when not being used.
No scale build up
Scaling is the biggest enemy of water heaters. The heat makes solids in the water to precipitate from the water and collect on the hot surface. Using a heat pump reduced the tendency of scale to build up in the tank because it uses lower temperatures to heat the water.
Reduces other electricity costs
PV will help reduce other electricity costs depending on the state. A solar thermal heater will only be useful when heating water, and nothing else. PV can be exported when not being used and can help in lowering the electricity costs of a household. This means there is a waste of energy when the water is not being used.
Advantages of Solar Water Heating
Solar water heating is more efficient with 80% of the radiation being converted into heat energy. This is unlike in PV where little energy will be converted into electrical energy. They usually offer a good return on investment within a short period of time. You can expect to recover you installation cost within the first five years of use depending on environmental conditions.
Commercial and domestics qualify for incentives. This means that you will be getting paid because you are generating your own heat energy whether you are using it or not. You can save hundreds of dollars yearly. Check with your local authority and find out the type of incentives being offered by the government. You may be surprised to find out that you will be getting a lot of incentives when you decide to go the renewable energy route.
Easier integration to existing systems
Solar hot water systems can be easily integrated into existing systems. If you have a different system, you can easily integrate solar hot water without having to change your system. The other system can also act as a backup option.
Both options are viable, provided you weigh the pros and cons before settling on one. There are many different factors you will be forced to consider before making your final decision. What you have in mind can also help in determining the better option for you.