A hot water system can be defined as an installation of one or more water heaters, plus the associated cold and hot water plumbing, which can supply hot water to one or a number of outlets. This definition is general, and covers many types of hot water systems, each with advantages and disadvantages. Hot water systems are generally divided into five broad classes:
Instantaneous / Continuous Hot Water Systems - The instantaneous / continuous hot water systems are designed to heat water only at the time it is being used, rather than relying on any form of storage. Instantaneous / Continuous hot water systems are normally connected directly to mains water supply. When a hot tap is opened, the flow of water activates a valve or switch causing gas or electricity to flow to heat the water as it passes through the system; this stops when the hot tap is closed. An integral water governor controls the flow rate of the water to the hot taps. These units can be single point heaters, as in a bath heater, or multi point, supplying several outlets.
Gas & Electric Storage Hot Water Systems - A storage hot water system is designed to hold a useful quantity of hot water in a thermally insulated tank ready for immediate use. As hot water is used, cold water enters the storage tank to replace it. Reheating continues after the flow of hot water has ceased. These units can be designed either to store and supply hot water at mains pressure, or to store water at atmospheric pressure and distribute it by means of gravity. Again, these hot water systems can be single point hot water systems (e.g. sink) or multi point hot water systems. These are also known as "direct storage" units.
Heat Pump Hot Water Systems - 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?
Solar Hot Water Systems - Solar hot water systems take advantage of sunshine and use solar energy to heat water for household use. A solar hot water system should provide between 50 and 90% of your hot water needs and this amount will depend on your local climate and the model of solar hot water heater you install. Solar hot water systems generally come with electric or gas boosters to provide the rest of your hot water needs.
If you are considering a new hot water system for your household please contact us on 1300 793 614 and speak to one of our hot water specialists who will be able to assist you with all you solar hot water needs.