With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about installing a solar hot water system. Solar hot water systems are a great way to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, lower your energy bills, and do your bit for the environment.
Solar hot water systems can be used in many climates and offer significant savings on energy bills. In fact, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Victoria, a properly installed and maintained solar hot water system can save a household up to $600 per year on their energy bills.
But with so many different types and brands of solar hot water systems on the market, it can take a lot of work to know which one is right for your home.
This blog post will provide an overview of some of the best solar hot water systems available in Australia so that you can make an informed decision about which system is suitable for your home.
Table of Contents
What to Look for in a Solar Hot Water System
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a solar hot water system, such as cost, climate, roof type, household size, and daily hot water usage.
Types of Solar Hot Water Systems
Most solar hot water systems use rooftop collectors to capture the sun’s energy. This energy is then used to heat water in an insulated tank. There are two types of solar hot water systems available in Australia: active and passive.
Active solar hot water systems have pumps and controllers that circulate water through the collectors and into the home. Passive solar hot water systems rely on natural thermosiphon circulation, where the collector is located above the tank so that gravity can circulate the water. These can be further broken down into three main types of solar hot water systems: evacuated tube, flat plate, and thermosiphon.
Evacuated tube systems are the most efficient type of solar hot water system, but they also tend to be the most expensive.
Flat plate systems are a good middle-of-the-road option – they’re not as expensive as evacuated tube systems, but they’re also not as effective in colder climates.
Thermosiphon systems are the least expensive type of solar hot water system, but they’re only suitable for homes with enough roof space to accommodate the large tank that is required.
Choosing the Right Size Solar Hot Water System
The size of the system you need depends on many factors, like the people in your household, your average daily hot water usage, and climate. The sunny Queensland climate will require a different system to that of Tasmania’s cool climate, for example.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a system that will meet around 80% of your household’s daily hot water needs. This will ensure that you have enough hot water during peak usage periods (such as winter) without having to rely too much on your backup gas or electric booster.
If you live in a warm climate, you may be able to get by with a smaller tank, but if you have a lot of hot water appliances, such as a dishwasher and washing machine, you will need a larger one.
What are the Best Solar Hot Systems in Australia?
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a solar hot water system; however, all these systems are popular choices among homeowners in Australia due to their reliability and affordability.
1. iStore 180L Hot Water System
Price: Approximately $2000 to $3000, including installation
About: The iStore 180L Hot Water System is a highly efficient and effective way to heat water. It has four intelligent operating modes, allowing it to operate in a variety of conditions. The system consumes approximately 500W of energy/ hour during the air-to-energy heating process, making it very efficient. It also has a peak coefficient of performance (COP) of 6.85, making it one of the most effective hot water systems on the market.
It features an advanced temperature control system that ensures the desired water temperature is achieved quickly and efficiently, with a response time of 20 seconds. The pump monitors the pressure in the tank and adjusts the flow automatically, making it even more efficient to operate.
iStore 180L Hot Water System Reviews
“Amazing Product. Istore unit is very energy efficient, works perfectly. Customer support after purchase was very prompt. Highly recommend it if you need to replace a hot water unit. Quiet, and efficient, takes about 4 hours to heat a tank from cold with 500w/hour only” ProductReview.com.au
“Brilliant Invention. Great invention. Working perfectly. I got the Istore ’at a great price’, Shirley organised delivery quote, an affordable plumber, the government rebate of $1080 and processing the forms. Very happy.” ProductReview.com.au
2. Envirosun (Envirosun TS Plus/Envirosun THX)
Price: $4,500 to $6,000
About: Envirosun uses flat-plate collectors that allow over 90% of the sun’s radiation to reach the solar absorber, making it one of the most efficient solar hot water systems on the market. The system also uses durable hot water tanks that incorporate 444 stainless steel internal pressure vessels, making them built to last.
Envirosun is compliant with Australian and New Zealand design standards (AS/NZS 2712) and is registered by the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator. So if you’re looking for a solar hot water system that is built to last, look no further than Envirosun.
With a 10-year warranty on parts, you can be sure that your system will provide reliable hot water for years to come. Envirosun also offers the latest in smart controller technology, allowing you to monitor and adjust your system remotely. With an easy-to-use mobile app, you can control temperatures and settings from wherever you are.
Envirosun Solar Hot Water System Reviews
“Great hot water! Recently had our old solar hot water system replaced with an Envirosun product, installed by JR Gas and Water. Very happy with the installation and the resulting hot water.” ProductReview.com.au
“Better than the Solar Edwards it replaced. Unit coped very well in Summer, part Autumn, part Spring, but needed the electric booster on full time for 70 minutes a day over winter because I like hot showers.” ProductReview.com.au
3. Neopower Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water
Price: $4,500 to $6,000
About: With collector efficiency of up to 80% and superior winter performance, this system is designed to provide you with plenty of hot water even in the coldest of climates. The controller also displays tank and collector temperature, so you can always keep an eye on your system’s performance. And in case of any problems, the fault codes make diagnosing and fixing any issues easy.
All of these features combine to give you a reliable and efficient solar hot water system that produces plenty of hot water all year round. With minimal maintenance requirements, this is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable and eco-friendly way to heat their home’s water. Thanks to its robust construction and superior performance, it will provide years of reliable service.
Electric Boosted models are available in sizes ranging from 250 to 400 litres, while Gas Boosted models are available in sizes from 200 to 400 litres. So no matter what your needs are, there is a Neopower Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water system that is perfect for you!
Neopower Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water System Reviews
“Excellent Range of Solar Hot Water Systems. We have been supplying and installing Neopower solar hot water systems throughout South East Queensland for a number of years now. (mainly the stainless steel roof mount systems).
We are really impressed with the units and the service from Neopower and will continue to recommend them to our customers.” ProductReview.com.au
“Replaced my 13 years old Solar Water System. A job well done! Found a few issues with my old Solar Water System, like the water return drop to the ground and made the ground around wet most time, the tank was installed on the ground and became rusty over time.
Matthew has provided solutions so that the new system will not have these issues.
The replacement details were well informed and professionally executed.
The new unit quality is excellent. I turned off the booster during Summer and no shortage of hot water. The admin staff are very good as well to provide instructions on applying for the rebate.” ProductReview.com.au
4. Thermal Ark ARK270
Price: Starting at $2,500
About: With a capacity of 270L, this thermal storage tank is perfect for larger homes or businesses. It features 3.6kW heating, IPX4 rating, and a wide operating temperature range of -7C to 43C. Plus, it comes with safety features like compressor overload, element overload, and over temp cut out. You can also choose from various controller functions like eco mode, full defrost cycle, intelligent mode, normal mode, sanitation cycle, two timers, and vacation mode. This tank is also designed to be energy efficient and compliant with both ErP and Energy Star standards.
People around Australia are choosing this thermal storage tank for its proven reliability and durable construction. It also boasts a 10-year warranty on the cylinder and two years of parts and labour coverage, so you can trust that your new water heater will last for many years to come.
Thermal Ark ARK270 Solar Hot Water System Reviews
“Very pleased with my purchase. While I was hesitant at first to buy a heat pump hot water service because of reports that they don’t work that well in the cooler climate of Victoria. I can say now it was was unfounded, since the installation it has worked perfectly, dual timers means I have set it to turn on in the morning and then again later in the afternoon so always have hot water when we need it. To early to say what effect it may have on the power bill, but will report back on that. A special thanks to Paul from Thermal Arc made the transition from old to new so easy.” ProductReview.com.au
“Very pleased with my Thermal Ark 270! Inner West Sydney. It’s been in for two months and I couldn’t be happier. I was able to cancel my town gas connection and rely entirely on my PV panels, my Sonnen battery, and my solar hot water (evacuated tubes) into a storage tank, and from there into the ThermalArk. (No other heat pump supplier was interested in putting warm water into a heat pump.) With a house of four adults and three kids we’ve never run out of hot water, even with a full bath upstairs and a shower running downstairs! Installation was easy and it was working immediately. Highly recommended! Purchased in January 2021 for $2,000.” ProductReview.com.au
5. Run On Sun ROSAHP250EL
Price: Starting at $4,000
About: The Run On Sun ROSAHP250EL solar hot water system is the perfect solution for those looking for a reliable and efficient way to heat their water. This system features a heavy-duty marine grade 316L stainless steel tank that is both inner and outer, making it highly durable. Additionally, all of the evacuated tubes are made from 2-mm thick glass, with a hail-stone diameter rating of 35 mm. This makes them extremely resistant to damage.
Another great feature of this system is the Tri-Element solar selective coating that has been patented by Sydney University. This helps to ensure that the system is able to capture the maximum amount of solar energy possible. The heavy-duty 2-mm thick 304-grade stainless steel frames and cyclone mounting kits are also included at no extra cost.
This system is also designed to be extremely easy to use. There is no need for antifreeze in cold areas, and no pumps or controllers are needed on all our integrated models. This makes it the perfect solution for those who are looking for an easy-to-install and operate solar hot water system.
Run On Sun Solar Hot Water System Reviews
“This is the best solar hotwater on the market ten stars to andrew and runonsun. Best and most efficient system – have one in rural area – on ground and easy to access – especially to cover when needed. Very rarely need back up to heat. One of the first ROSAHPEL in Australia!! Put another one on a tin roof which has to be part covered.” ProductReview.com.au
“Electricity Killer. I purchased a Run on Sun ROSAHP250EL replacing a Solar Edwards unit that needed boosting every time the temperature fell below 25 deg C.
Since installing the unit, despite the coldest winter experienced in Perth for 23 yrs the unit did not require boosting reducing my electricity demand so that the PV solar system can handle, reducing my utility power bill to almost zero.
During the summer months when days are over 30 deg C, sometimes in excess of 40 deg C the unit expels up to 10 litres of water that I collect in a plastic bucket when cool used to water plants. I have thought about installing a blind to partially shade the heat tubes for when away for extended periods and summer period to reduce the amount of water expelled…Overall I think the unit is very effective in heating water with no moving parts other than the mixer valve and minimal servicing required to periodically replace the sacrificial anode and purge any dirt buildup within the tank.” ProductReview.com.au
6. Solargain 315L 2 Panel Split System Hot Water System w/ Electric Booster
Price: No publicly available prices
About: This system comes with an electric booster for maximum heating efficiency and a sacrificial anode installed for durability. The storage tank is manufactured from high-quality mild steel with an internal glass-lined enamel coating, ensuring maximum protection against high temperatures and pressures.
The all-copper collector with black chrome selective coating ensures maximum energy absorption, making this system perfect for those looking to save on their energy bills.
The circulation pump is enclosed in an insulated casing for quiet operation, and the temperature control system makes it easy to adjust settings. The included expansion vessel prevents over-pressurisation of the system for ultimate safety. This powerful hot water system is sure to meet all your needs and provide you with reliable performance for years to come.
Solargain 315L Solar Hot Water System Reviews
“Solargain split system with electric booster. We had Solargain supply and install a split panel system to our house in Brisbane. We found the entire process to be smooth and without issue. Their service was outstanding and efficient from our first contact. Solargain provided an accurate quote over the phone without delay. They provided advice about which system would suit our needs and the installation was arranged for a convenient time for us.
The plumber and labourer arrived when they said they would and they cleaned up before leaving. We have had no issues with the panels, tank or booster at any stage. We have only needed to use the booster on a few occasions following days of overcast/rainy weather. We are extremely happy with the product, price and service provided by Solargain and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. Service, advice, price, efficiency” ProductReview.com.au
“Great to have hot water again. We accepted a quote from Solargain to supply and fit a 315L split system a week ago, replacing a 10 year old similar Chromagen system which was failing. Solargain were very easy to deal with – Matt provided a quote immediately, and answered my many questions promptly. The install went ahead without fuss, despite the challenges imposed by the previous installation.
The sun had departed the panels by the time the install was completed, but the electric boost provided us with plenty of hot water early that evening for us and our visitors. We’ve left the boost on for the last few days with the variable weather, but expect that when we are without visitors the boost will be required less frequently. The controller has more information available than we had before, so we can see the various temperatures through the system, and how they react with the pump to the solar panels running. All in all we are very happy with this installation.” ProductReview.com.au
7. Enviroheat Heat Pump Water Heater
Price: No publicly available prices
About: The Enviroheat Heat Pump Water Heater is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to heat your water. With models available in 200L and 250L storage tanks, it is perfect for any home or business. The relief valve pressure is 700kPa, and the IPX4 insulation protection ensures your water stays hot. The sacrificial anode installed also protects your investment. The average heat pump input power is 495W, making it one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat your water.
With a high coefficient of performance (COP) ratio of up to 5.4, the Enviroheat Heat Pump Water Heater offers superior energy efficiency when compared with other water heaters in its class. The intelligent controller ensures ease of use by allowing you to set your desired temperature and hot water delivery time, so you can have hot water when you need it. The built-in temperature lock feature prevents accidental temperature change, and the power indicator light lets you know when the water heater is in use.
Enviroheat Heat Pump Water Heater Reviews
“Quiet system and an excellent replacement. My previous hot water system had died and was replaced excellently by JR Gas and Water. Not only looks sleek and futuristic – but is much quieter than my last hot water system, which I could hear all the way up on the 2nd floor. Works perfectly for a household of 3 people and was installed without any issues.” ProductReview.com.au
“Quiet and easy to use display. Had a few options provided by JR Gas & Water and decided to go with Enviroheat as they highly recommended it compared to other brand name that I wanted to install. Not only it fits my budget well, the installation done by JR Gas & Water was quick and tidy. The Enviroheat unit has done its job so far with not too much noise but will advise keep them away from windows (min 3 meters away) as it can be loud depending on your tolerance.” ProductReview.com.au
How Much Electricity Does a Solar Hot Water System Use?
The amount of electricity a solar hot water system uses will vary depending on the size of the system and the climate. In general, however, solar hot water systems are very efficient and can save you a significant amount of money on your energy bill.
What Size Hot Water Tank Do I Need for a Family of 4?
The size of the hot water tank you need will depend on several factors, including the number of people in your family, the climate you live in, and the types of hot water appliances you have. In general, a family of four will need a tank that can hold between 160 and 400 litres of water.
This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. JFK Electrical does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. Always seek personalised advice on solar energy to ensure any recommendations suit your property and scenario.
John Lyons, the owner of JFK Electrical Solar & Air, started his career in the electrical industry in 1997. With years of experience gained in the industry across multiple continents, he relocated to Australia and decided to specialise in solar and air conditioning. After deciding he wanted to be closer to his family, John began his own local electrical business in Mandurah, using his extensive knowledge and training in the industry. At JFK, John’s number one goal is to provide tailored solutions to his customers. And thanks to his experience and commitment to his customers, JFK Electrical is now one of the most trusted local businesses in Mandurah for solar and electrical services.