Benefits of solar water heating for commercial and residential application

Heating water traditionally consumes a fair amount of power in both commercial and residential applications. For household use, water heating through a traditional hot water system calls for approximately 25-40 per cent of the traditional domestic energy consumption in Australia. On the other hand, in industrial use, such as those in beverage and food processing setups, where there is a strong need for hot water, it tends to be considerably higher. Therefore, an energy efficient water heater is something that many business and homes are now on the look out for.

The cost linked to water heating is known to create a massive burden for enterprises, particularly since the power costs in Australia has spiked. Water heating expenses can be cut by implementing solar energy. The sun’s thermal energy on a daily basis in Australia is abundant. It is renewable, free and a clean source of power that can be utilised to pre-heat water and for reducing the power consumption in water heating, which is involved in an array of applications.

Industrial and commercial operators can take advantage of the sun’s heat energy to heat water. Nowadays, commercial establishments are now heavily inspected for a variety of sustainability practices.

For instance, the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) offers evaluations to existing as well as new commercial buildings due to their performance related to energy efficiency and environmental impacts, giving them appropriate star ratings. 

Solar pre-heating of industrial or commercial hot water supply allows a failsafe way to limit the emission of greenhouse gases to achieve considerable energy savings and cut down on the operative business costs.

There are diverse and numerous applications of solar pre-heat systems and it can be incorporated in new or existing installations and can be applied in a variety of industries, including aged care, hospitals, swimming pools, council facilities, hotels, beverage or food processing setups, sporting arenas, apartment blocks, etc.

Installation and system configuration of water pre-heating systems

In general, a commercial solar hot water system is made to be used with an energy efficient water heater unit, which may include continual flow electric storage water heating systems or gas water heaters. A commercial solar hot water unit conventionally includes a wide array of rooftop heat collectors and water storage tanks.

The heating unit is conventionally sized to address 100 per cent of the demand required, even during winters when there is lower solar energy. The number of tanks and thermal collectors will vary depending upon the daily demand of hot water for the specific process, and the amount of solar contribution required.

By providing solar pre-heated water to the main water heating system, the need to purchase expensive fossil fuel will be lessened.

Commercial solar pre-heat water units may be well suited to creating Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), as long as the reported energy savings fall within the minimum required criteria, which is around 60 per cent. By becoming eligible for STCs, the ultimate cost of the water heating system can be largely reduced, thereby amplifying ROI. STCs are categorised under the Renewable Energy Target Scheme of the Federal Government that is developed to provide incentives to businesses as well as homeowners to make investments in renewable energy technology.