Our client called Solahart Newcastle one morning because his 3 bedroom home in Raymond Terrace didn’t have any hot water. He had checked outside and there were no leaks from the tank outside or the pipes going up to the solar panels but he was still without hot water and knew he needed a plumber to look at his solar hot water system.
Solar hot water systems are generally reliable and efficient, but they can still experience failures due to various reasons. Some of the typical causes of a solar hot water system failure in Newcastle or any other location include some of the following:
Collector Issues: The solar collector is a crucial component responsible for capturing sunlight and converting it into heat. Failures can occur due to physical damage, cracks, or degradation of the collector’s surface over time, reducing its efficiency. The panels might be dirty, have worn out or are cracked or broken.
Circulation Problems: A solar hot water system relies on the circulation of water between the collector and the storage tank. Issues with circulation pumps, such as pump failure, airlocks, or blockages in the pipes, can hinder the flow of water and prevent proper heat transfer.
Control System Malfunction: The control system in a solar hot water system manages the operation of the pump and other components. A malfunctioning control system can lead to improper functioning of the system, resulting in reduced efficiency or complete failure.
Leakages: Leaks in the pipes, joints, or valves can lead to water loss and decrease the system’s effectiveness. Corrosion or wear over time can cause these leaks to develop.
Overheating or Freezing: If the system is not properly designed or maintained, it may overheat during hot weather or freeze during cold weather, leading to damage and reduced efficiency.
Scaling and Sediment Buildup: Accumulation of mineral deposits or sediment in the collector or storage tank can reduce the system’s efficiency and cause damage to components.
Faulty Temperature Sensors: Temperature sensors are essential for regulating the system’s operation. If they malfunction, the system may not heat water to the desired temperature or may operate inefficiently.
Electrical Issues: If the system has electrical components, such as pumps or controllers, failures in the electrical system can disrupt the system’s performance.
Water Quality: Poor water quality, such as high mineral content or high levels of contaminants, can lead to corrosion, scaling, and other problems in the solar hot water system.
Lack of Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential to keep the system functioning optimally. Neglecting maintenance can lead to a range of issues that may cause the system to fail prematurely. We recommend a 5 year service on all Solahart solar hot water systems.
To avoid or mitigate these failures, it’s essential to not only have a solar hot water system installed by a qualified professional in the first place but to also follow manufacturer guidelines for maintenance, and address any issues promptly. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify and rectify potential problems before they escalate into major failures.
Solahart Newcastle can do regular inspections, cleaning & servicing for solar hot water systems so you can avoid the problem of your home or business not having hot water when you want or need it.
Once we received the phone call from our client we sent out a technician who arrived on site within a few hours to inspect his existing system. What our technician found was multiple faults which could all be shown to the client on site so he knew exactly what was causing the problem.
Based on the age & condition of his existing solar hot water system the inspection meant the most sensible recommendation was to have it replaced. This wasn’t a surprise to the home owner because he had been experiencing quite a few problems with it.
The Solahart Newcastle technician provided a detailed written quotation to remove and replace the existing solar hot water system. The new system recommended was an upgrade in capacity to what was set up for the home. Once the owner approved the quote we could send out our solar hot water installation team to carry out the work.
For this 3 bedroom property in Raymond Terrace the recommended solution was to install a Solahart 302L
300lt Roof Top Solar System with the supply & installation costing approximately $5,000 which included the safe removal of the old equipment. The price for a 300 litre roof top system will vary based on the type of property, access to the roof & the extent of work needed for that particular site. This was a single storey home with an average pitch angle, tiled roof that was about 477m2 in area.
The Solahart 302L is ingenious in its simplicity. The black polyester powder coated aluminium absorber collects the sun’s heat and transfers it to the water in the 7 risers. Copper is used for the risers for its high thermal conductivity ensuring the maximum amount of heat energy is passed to the water. As the water in the risers is heated, it rises into the tank to be replaced by cooler water from the tank. The solar heated water is then stored ready for use – hot water free from the sun.
Benefits of the system:
Determining whether a solar-powered hot water system is better than other alternative hot water supply sources in Newcastle depends on various factors, including the local climate, energy costs, installation costs, and individual preferences. Our team of consultants can help you work out what might be more suitable in your situation;
Electric Water Heater: In regions with abundant sunlight like Newcastle, a solar hot water system can be more cost-effective than an electric water heater. Solar systems use renewable energy from the sun, reducing electricity consumption and lowering utility bills. However, the initial installation cost of a solar system might be higher than an electric water heater.
Gas Water Heater: Gas water heaters are common in many households, but they rely on fossil fuels and produce greenhouse gas emissions. Solar hot water systems offer a greener alternative by utilising solar energy and can be more environmentally friendly.
Heat Pump Water Heater: Heat pump water heaters extract heat from the surrounding air to heat the water. However, heat pumps need to use electricity year-round due to the compressor, whereas solar hot water only needs to draw from the grid in Winter and on overcast days and therefore costs less to run. The longevity of solar hot water systems is a lot longer than heat pumps as well.
A solar-powered hot water system can be an excellent choice in Newcastle due to the region’s ample sunlight. It can significantly reduce energy bills, lower carbon emissions, and offer long-term cost savings. However, the suitability of any hot water supply source depends on individual circumstances, budget, and local factors. Before making a decision, it’s essential to consider factors like upfront costs, available incentives or rebates, energy efficiency, and the expected lifespan of the system.
Consulting our team that does solar installations all year round can help you determine the best option for your specific needs and circumstances.
“One day I found that I had no hot water, so I rang Solahart Newcastle at Beresfield for help. 2 hours later a technician appeared and inspected my old solar system, finding and showing me multiple faults with it and recommending a replacement. This was not unexpected since I had experienced a lot of trouble with my old unit in the past and often thought of replacing it. Solahart quoted me a really competitive price for the supply and installation of a better system than the one I originally had. It was supplied and installed within two days (delay was because of me procrastinating).”