How a heat pump hot water system works with solar
Everyone loves an efficient hot water system. But how do you choose one that's right for your home?
If you have an all-electric home, a heat pump water heater is the perfect hot water system because it's energy efficient, saves money and is eco-friendly. It's even better when paired with solar systems.
Here's what you need to know about heat pump water heaters and solar systems.
What is a heat pump hot water system?
A heat pump hot water system is a type of electric hot water system. It uses a device called a heat pump to transfer heat from the air or ground to the water in the tank.
The heat pump works like a fridge in reverse. Instead of moving heat from inside to outside the fridge, the pump takes heat from the outside and uses it to heat the water.
A heat pump hot water system can work in warm and cool climates.
What are the other different types of hot water systems?
There are lots of different types of water heaters. Each has its own benefits.
Storage tank water heaters
These are the most traditional type of hot water systems. A large tank stores hot water which moves through pipes to the taps and appliances in your home.
These systems are relatively simple but can use more energy than other options.
Storage tank water heaters are usually installed in laundries, garages or basements as they can take up a lot of space. They can also be placed in closets or other indoor areas easily accessed for maintenance and repair.
These water heaters can be heavy, so their location has to support the weight of the unit, with enough space for venting or piping.
Tankless water heaters
These systems heat water when you need it as it passes through the unit. They use less energy than storage tank systems because they only heat water that's needed.
But they can be more expensive to install, and the hot water supply may be less reliable.
Tankless water heater systems can be placed anywhere. They’re often put in garages, cupboards and outdoors because they don't take up much space.
Solar water heaters
These hot water systems use solar panels to capture energy from the sun and heat the water in the tank. They are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly but can be expensive to install.
Solar water heaters are usually installed on the roof or on a nearby structure that has access to the sun. The solar panels or collectors are typically mounted at an angle. They usually face North in Queensland to get maximum sunlight during the day. The panels are connected to a water storage tank.
Solar water heaters may require additional equipment, like pumps or controllers, to run properly. It's important to ensure the roof can hold the weight of the solar panels.
Condensing water heaters
These systems are similar to tankless water heaters but use a second heat exchanger to take heat from the exhaust gases to generate hot water. They are energy-efficient but can be expensive to install.
Condensing water heaters are usually installed in a garage or laundry.
Condensing water heaters need access to a natural gas supply and should have proper ventilation to let exhaust gases safely leave the home. This can be done through a vent pipe or flue that leads outside.
The location of a condensing water heater should have enough surrounding space to accommodate the larger size of the heater due to the condensing technology. It should be located in an area away from extreme temperatures or weather conditions which can affect how it runs.
What are the benefits of a heat pump hot water system?
Hot water heat pumps are highly energy-efficient. They work by extracting heat from the surrounding air and using it to heat water rather than generating heat from scratch.
Because of this, the cost of electricity bills can be lower compared with traditional water heaters.
As heat pump hot water systems use less energy, they produce lower greenhouse gas emissions and are more environmentally friendly than other systems.
Heat pump systems are designed to last for 10-15 years or longer, making them a reliable and long-lasting investment.
Consistent hot water supply
Heat pump hot water systems can provide a continuous supply of hot water if properly sized for your home.
Heat pump hot water systems don't need much maintenance apart from regular cleaning and filter replacement, making them a hassle-free option for homeowners.
Does a heat pump water heater work with gas or electricity?
A hot water heat pump generally works with electricity, making it perfect for an all-electric home. The heat pump uses electricity to power the compressor and fan.
Some manufacturers offer hybrid heat pump systems that use both electricity and gas to heat water. These systems are designed to maximise efficiency by using gas as a backup when there’s not enough heat in the surrounding air to meet the demand for hot water.
Where are heat pump hot water heaters installed?
Heat pump water heaters are typically installed in laundries, garages or protected areas outside. As they need a steady flow of air to operate efficiently, they need enough surrounding space for proper ventilation.
A hot water heat pump requires access to electricity to power the heat pump unit. Heat pump hot water heaters require a dedicated electrical circuit and some units need a higher voltage than traditional hot water tanks.
How does a heat pump work with a solar system?
When a heat pump hot water system is combined with a solar system, solar energy is used to power the system. Here's how it works:
- Solar panels capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity, which is used to power the heat pump system.
- The heat pump system extracts heat from the surrounding air and uses it to heat the water in the storage tank.
- If there is not enough heat available from the air, the heat pump system will draw additional energy from the backup heating element which can be supplemented by the solar panels.
- Once the water has been heated to the desired temperature, it's stored in the tank until needed.
By combining a heat pump system with a solar system, homeowners can take advantage of two highly energy-efficient technologies to provide hot water for their homes.
The solar panels help reduce the amount of energy needed to power the heat pump, which means big energy savings and a lower carbon footprint.
How to tell if a heat pump water heater is best for your new home
There are two main things to think about when deciding whether a heat pump water heater is best for your [new home build](https://plantationhomes.com.au/getting-started/your-building-process).
The first is the hot water demand of the household. The second is your climate.
Heat pump water heaters are great for households that use a moderate or large amount of hot water, like big families. This is because they are highly energy-efficient and can provide a continuous supply of hot water without running out.
Get the best of both worlds with a hot water heat pump and solar-powered home
At Plantation Homes, we care about designing and building healthier and more energy-efficient homes. That's why we're helping you save up to 75% on energy bills with our All Electric Solar Powered homes.
Speak to one of our friendly team about heat pump water heaters or solar power for your new home.