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Solar Hot Water And Electricity
Are you planning to install hybrid solar panels to heat water and generate electricity on your property in Australia? Choosing to do this is an excellent investment since hybrid solar panels can help generate the energy that you need to power various devices and perform different tasks on your property. These solar panels come in an array of sizes and watts, so you can effectively get those that serve all your needs.
Water heating takes a significant fraction of your energy bills every month. The good thing is that you save a lot of money in the process with these panels installed. The energy generated by a hybrid solar system can help to heat water and serve all your electricity needs. A hybrid solar hot water system is effective since it ensures that you have hot water at all times. This article looks more into the hybrid solar panels for hot water and electricity.
What Is A Hybrid Solar System?
With the increased energy costs in Australia, most people are turning to hybrid solar panel systems. A hybrid system is one in which your solar panels are connected to the main grid power lines and feature a battery for excess power storage. The energy absorbed by your panels goes through an inverter to produce electricity. Then, the electricity goes to your property, grid, or battery.
You can then use the power generated for various tasks in your home, including heating water, lighting, and running your fans. The great thing about hybrid solar systems is that you have power at all times. The backup battery helps store excess energy generated by your solar panels, which you can use when there is no sunlight or at night. Moreover, if you use all the energy stored in the battery, you can still get power from your electrical grid.
How Does A Hybrid Solar System Work?
A hybrid solar system is grid-tied. Your solar energy system is connected to your electricity power line. Unlike conventional grid-tied systems, hybrid systems work with battery combinations and compatible hybrid inverters to offer battery backup power for the systems tied to the grid.
When there is sunlight, the solar system gets energy from the sun to power your property and charge your battery. You can then use energy stored in the batteries at night or other times when there is no sunlight. The basic concept behind hybrid solar systems is that you produce electricity from your panels and store the energy in a battery when there is sunlight.
When the battery gets fully charged, you use the excess electricity from your solar system to power your home appliances. Any electricity that is left gets exported to the utility grid. Thus, a hybrid solar system offers all the advantages of the grid-tied system while providing you with power backups when there is a power outage.
Components Of Hybrid Solar Systems
Different components make up a hybrid solar system; a battery inverter and a solar inverter. The two allow the conversion of DC to AC and then AC to DC, which regular solar components cannot do. Compatible software is needed between the battery technologies and hybrid inverter to control the hybrid system. The emergency power supply device also allows the system to switch the solar battery to power when there is a power interruption.
A Hybrid Inverter For Hot Water And Electricity
Here are some hybrid inverters you can choose for your home.
A grid-connected hybrid inverter doesn't offer blackout protection. When a blackout occurs, it doesn't get power from the batteries by itself. As a result, you need an emergency power supply device and other components to ensure you still have power in the event of a power interruption.
Multiple mode inverter
These are inverters that can work in different modes. They can work while standing alone or when connected to the power grid. These inverters provide protection when there is a blackout, but there is usually a delay. You can use these inverters to connect power to your entire house or a particular circuit.
UPS mode inverter
UPS mode inverters are created to offer a constant power supply. When there is a power interruption, the inverter immediately gets power from the batteries. In addition, these inverters can work with both the off-grid and grid modes.
Advantages Of Hybrid Solar Systems
Installing a hybrid solar system in your home offers many benefits. Here are some of the main benefits you get.
Constant power supply
With the hybrid solar system on your property, you are assured of a continuous power supply. These systems continuously power your home without any hitches or interruptions since the connected batteries help store the energy required. When an electrical outage occurs, the solar batteries operate as inverters to offer you backup.
The same applies in the evening or at night when there is no sun and no energy generated. As a result, your life goes on without interruption because you still have electricity and can also heat water.
Utilise renewable energy sources effectively
Since the batteries are connected to the system, the excess energy generated on sunny days is lost. Hybrid solar systems utilise renewable energy effectively, storing the power when there is excess and using the same when no energy is generated.
Reduced maintenance costs
The cost of maintaining a hybrid solar energy system is lower than that of conventional generators. Hybrid solar systems don't use fuel or require regular servicing, making them cost-effective.
Offer high-level efficiency
Hybrid solar systems are more efficient compared to other traditional generators, which at times waste a lot of fuel. These systems work perfectly in all conditions with no fuel wastage.
Effective load management
Unlike the conventional generators that provide high power when turned on, hybrid solar systems manage loads more effectively. The systems have a technology that helps adjust the power supply depending on the connected devices.
Disadvantages Of Hybrid Solar Systems
Before installing a hybrid solar system on your property, you need to know some of the disadvantages.
Complex control system
Because of the different energy sources being used, a hybrid solar system requires ample knowledge to install and use. The working of these energy sources, their interaction, and how they coordinate should be controlled. This process can be complicated, especially if you don't know how the system operates.
Though the maintenance cost is low, installing a hybrid solar system is costly. The initial price is high than that of other solar systems. As a result, you need to have a reasonable budget for the same. However, you enjoy more cost and energy efficiency benefits in the long run.
You are limited on the devices you can connect to the system. However, this usually varies from one system to another.
Hybrid Solar Panel Water Heating Systems
As mentioned above, a hybrid solar system can produce electricity that you can use for various tasks in your home. One of the major tasks you can perform with a hybrid solar system is heating water. You need to install a hybrid solar panel water heater that will work effectively with your hybrid solar panel system.
It is essential to choose a system that is right for you. The right solar hot water system is the one that satisfies all your needs. Price is a significant consideration, but it should not be the only thing that you think about. Size also matters.
There are different solar heater systems, so you also need to check the perfect one for your needs. Here are the types to choose from:
Rooftop hybrid solar system
This system is suitable if you have ample space on your roof. The panels and storage tanks are mounted together on your roof with a rooftop solar system. The collectors usually leverage the sun's energy into the solar collector's fluid. The heated fluid then circulates the adjacent water storage tank. The storage tanks are often made with high-quality stainless steel. Stainless steel is used because it is easy to maintain, corrosion-free, and looks good.
Split solar system
A split solar system should be your go-to if you do not have ample roof space or want a more streamlined look. These hybrid solar panels are still mounted on your roof, but the water storage tank is installed at the ground level. The heater works by absorbing the sun's energy from the sun's rays in the collectors mounted on the roof and then transferring it into the water stored in the storage tank on the ground level.
These ground-mounted systems use inbuilt pumps to move the fluid through the water heating system. The split solar system usually applies less roof structural load since only low-profile solar collectors are installed on your roof. Further, solar water heaters can be classified into two major categories, i.e., active and passive heaters.
The significant distinction between the two is that active systems use circulating pumps to move water, while passive ones utilise gravity to move the water. In addition, active systems use electricity to work and can also use antifreeze as the heat exchanger fluid. Water gets heated in the tubes for passive systems and is then moved directly to a faucet when required.
Active solar heaters
Although active solar heaters are costlier than passive ones, active heaters are more efficient. They are further categorised into active direct and active indirect systems.
Active direct systems: Portable water usually passes through the heat collector directly into the storage tank in these systems. The system works perfectly in mild climates where temperatures don't freeze.
Active indirect systems: An active indirect system usually circulates a non-freezing fluid via the solar collector into the heat exchanger, where the fluid's heat is transferred to potable water. The water gets dispersed into the tank to use. This system works perfectly during cold weather conditions.
Passive solar heaters
Passive water heaters are less costly and the simpler option. However, they are not as efficient as their counterparts, the active systems. Passive systems are more durable and reliable, making them a perfect option for your property. All passive hot water systems use gravity or pressure for circulating water.
Installing Solar Panels For Hot Water And Electricity
Source of water
You need to consider the water source. It's essential to think about whether the water is hard or soft. This is necessary because hard water and soft water both contain different amounts of minerals, so each type uses a separate heating system, i.e., the indirect and the direct system. The direct system is the best if you have soft water since the water is heated directly by the heater collector. On the other hand, the indirect system is the best for hard water since the water has a higher mineral capacity.
You also need to consider your property's plumbing work. Most people go wrong since they don't understand how the two-way piping system works. The two-way system has cold and hot water connected to your house with two pipes. One of the pipes is for hot water, while the other is for cold water. Therefore, you should only use the two-way piping system for your bathroom. You need the tube-type heater for your kitchen since more water is required, heats water faster, and is less costly than the flat-type solar water heaters.
Type of storage tank
You need a tank that can withstand heat and also retain the heat. You should have a thick tank that can hold heat for around sixty to seventy-two hours. Moreover, it should feature food safety measures to ensure that the water does not develop a foul smell. The tank should have an enamel coating to prevent rusting caused by hard water containing many minerals. Check the panel components and the heating capacity too.
Consider the service life
Make sure you check the service life of the solar system you want to buy. A good manufacturer should include the estimated lifespan of the solar panels. Ensure that the system also has a warranty since this shows that the system is of high quality and durable. A sound system should have a service life spanning more than twenty-five years and around ten years of warranty.
A good solar water heater should feature an inbuilt thermostatic capacity. This feature controls temperature to a specific threshold to avoid damage to your skin or pain from moist heat.
You should also consider the cost of the solar panels you want to buy. The greatest factor to consider is your budget. Take time to research to find out the cost of your desired system to plan your budget more effectively. However, as you consider the price, it is good to consider quality because this is the most critical factor. High-quality solar panels will not cost less. As a result, you need to have a reasonable budget so that you can buy high-quality and long-lasting solar panels.
Solar panel company
Take time to check for the most reputable company to make your purchase. Apply due diligence to ensure you get the most reputable company that offers high-quality systems and installation work. Take time to check for references to ensure you don't make a costly mistake. A good company understands that installing hybrid solar panels is a significant investment, so they offer high-quality work.
Can Your Home Have A Hybrid Solar System?
It is good to consider if a solar water heater will work perfectly on your property. The type of solar hot water system you select depends on where you live in Australia, your property's direction, and your roof's pitch. With solar panels for hot water and electricity, you can save a lot of money.
The amount you save depends on your property's energy efficiency level. So, before the installation, make sure that your home is energy efficient. Other factors determine whether these solar panels are perfect for your property in Australia, and they include:
Your roof space
You require at least 2m by 2m on your roof space and additional clearance space for the hot water system to work effectively. If you want to install a roof-mounted tank, you require ample space on your roof.
Consider ground space
It is also good to have ample ground to install a ground-mounted hot water storage tank. However, if you want to install roof-mounted tanks, you don't require that space.
Get Solar Panels For Hot Water And Electricity
Installing a solar hot water system is a significant investment. So, you should make sure that you get the best system and have the installation work done professionally. This guarantees that you get the best results. Solar panel specialists ensure that you get a high-quality system installed on your property.
Despite the cost involved in hiring solar specialists, you can be sure to get work done according to the set standards. You can also expect to get long-lasting solutions to your hot water and electricity needs.