Are Off Peak Hot Water Tariffs A Waste Of Time For Solar Owners?

Off peak hot water tariffs and solar power

Last week Finn got me into hot water.  He did this by referring me to a study called::

“Analysis of electricity consumption and thermal storage of domestic electric water heating systems to utilize excess PV generation”

Let me translate that from Academeze into English for you:

Are electric hot water systems any good at soaking up excess solar electricity?

Here are some of the findings: [Read more…]

Tales From The Customer Frontline: How Rocco Was Burned By Feed-in Tariff/Hot Water Rules, And Won

Solar feed-in tariff and hot water rules

Rocco was burned by rules saying he could not have a solar feed-in-tariff AND off-peak hot water.

Updated with comment from United Energy: A tale brought to our attention by reader Rocco is a handy reminder customers and retailers need to read the fine print of their solar feed-in-tariff contracts – and also brought to our attention how complex wholesaler and retailer rules can get. [Read more…]

The New Catch Power Green Hot Water Diverter Reviewed: Smaller, Cheaper, Cuter

Catch Power Green Catch PV diverter review

Hot water diversion is now more affordable with the new Catch Power ‘Green Catch’

Hi everyone.  Happy New Year!  This is a short article about a new hot water diverter developed by Australia’s Catch Power.  I’m just letting you know it’s available and because I don’t really have anything bad to say about it this may seem like an advertisement.  [Read more…]

Conserving Hot Water Gives A Better Return Than Any Diverter, Relay, Or Heat Pump Hot Water System

shower of money

In all the excitement that is solar hot water, simple efficiency often gets forgotten.

I’ve been writing a lot about hot water lately and how to use the energy of the sun to get it.  In fact, I’ve been concentrating on it so much I’ve neglected my other duties and gotten into hot water as a result.  Mind you, this may have all been part of my cunning plan, as I do enjoy a hot spa.  And if it is heated by people’s hot tears of rage and frustration over my failure to do as I have promised, well that’s just me being energy efficient.

Because that’s the kind of guy I am — efficient. [Read more…]

Is The Most Efficient Hot Water System A Solar PV Powered Heat Pump?

pv powered heat pump hot water

Heat Pump Hot Water. Power it with Solar PV and its efficiency cannot be beaten by solar thermal. Bloody expensive though.

If you are looking for the most efficient solar hot water system then solar PV panels powering a heat pump are hard to beat.

While both the panels and heat pump will need to be proficient performers, it is possible for the combination to beat solar thermal hot water which is widely considered the most efficient method. [Read more…]

Comparing Solar Hot Water Diverters Available In Australia

Update: since publishing this article commenters have made us aware of 3 other hot water diverters on the Australian market, the ‘Dimplex Free-E’ and, The Fronius OhmPilot and a unit from SolarEdge. We’ll add these to the comparison table as soon as we have enough info. If you know of any others let us know.

I recently wrote about solar hot water diverters.  These devices use your surplus solar electricity to power your hot water cylinder.

They can cut your electricity bills provided your solar feed-in tariff is less than the cost of the grid electricity used to heat your water — which is not always the case.

I am going to assume you’ve read my earlier article, done your research, and decided a solar hot water diverter is for you.  You’ve either determined it will save you money or it was love at first comprehension of the concept and you’ve realized you can’t live without one.  So the question becomes, which diverter should you choose? [Read more…]

Will A Solar Hot Water Timer Save Or Lose You Money?

hot water timer

If you have solar, is adding a simple, cheap timer to your electric hot water system worthwhile?

Lately my life has been a lollapalloza of solar electric hot water heating.  I’ve looked at more ways of heating water using solar electricity than you can poke a stick at.  Or at least I have if your poking arm is weak and flabby and easily fatigued. [Read more…]

Sun Flux Review: Hot Water With Dedicated Solar PV Panels

Sun Flux Direct PV Hot Water System

The Sun Flux is a box of electronics with one function: heating water with solar electricity.

I recently wrote about solar hot water diverters1 which use surplus electricity from an existing rooftop solar system to heat water.

Another option for heating your water with solar electricity is to use dedicated solar panels. These panels put all their power directly into the hot water cylinder’s heating element. When the water hits its temperature set point the panels are deactivated. [Read more…]

Solar Hot Water Diverters Beat Batteries On Energy Storage

battery vs hot water cylinder

If you want to store your solar energy, should you put it in a battery or in your hot water cylinder?


Update: Compare all the hot water diverters available in Australia here.

How A Diverter Can Give You Solar Hot Water And Store Energy At A Lower Cost Than Batteries

A solar hot water diverter is an electronic device that sends surplus electricity from your rooftop solar to your electric hot water cylinder.  This reduces, or even eliminates, the need to use grid electricity to heat water.  Under the right circumstances diverters can save you money and allow you to store energy at a cost lower than batteries.

[Read more…]

How To Use a Fronius Smart Meter To Solar Power Your Hot Water

fronius hot water diversion

Note to installers: Don’t wire directly in to bathtub or the duck will die.

Over the past week or so I’ve been politely prodded  by a plethora of people pushing me to provide information pertaining to solar hot water diverters.

A ‘hot water diverter’ is a box of power electronics that that sucks up your homes’ surplus solar electricity and diverts it to an electric hot water system instead of exporting it to the grid where it would earn a feed-in-tariff.  If the whole system is well designed and installed it will  greatly reduce or even eliminate using grid electricity for water heating. [Read more…]