Solar Hot Water In Australia
Solar hot water is heated using natural energy from the sun. Solar energy heats up large panels called thermal collectors. The energy is transferred through a fluid (often water) to a reservoir tank for storage and subsequent use. It is then used to heat water for commercial or domestic use and also as an energy input for heating and cooling devices and for industrial 'process heat' applications.
Solar hot water systems are motivated by the desire to reduce energy consumption more specifically, to reduce a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of Victoria, for example, converting from electric to solar hot water could save 20% of the state's total greenhouse gas emissions.
Despite an excellent solar resource, the penetration of solar water heaters in the Australian domestic market is only about 4% or 5%, with new dwellings accounting for most sales.
During the 1950s, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) carried out world leading research into flat plate solar water heaters. A solar water heater manufacturing industry was subsequently established in Australia and a large proportion of the manufactured product was exported. Four of the original companies are still in business and the manufacturing base has now expanded to 24 companies.
Water heating is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions from the average Australian home, accounting for around 28 per cent of home energy use (excluding the family car). The Australian government estimates that installing a climate friendly hot water system can save a family $300 to $700 off electricity bills each year.
Read more about Solar Hot Water In Australia: Australian Government's Solar Hot Water Rebate Program, See Also
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