The new generation of solar water heaters are streamlined in design, meaning there is no longer any need to have a storage tank on the roof and also boast increased capacity and lower cost.
World leaders in this technology, Australian companies Rheem and Solahart , have invested millions in developing solar hot water heaters that cater specifically to the Australian lifestyle. For example, the Rheem Solar Loline and Solahart Streamline can deliver up to 340L of constant, full mains pressure hot water to multiple bathrooms simultaneously while also supplying the household dishwasher and washing machine.
The roof mounted storage tank has been replaced with a streamlined tank located at ground level, either internally or externally, coupled to low profile collector panels on the roof. The sleek proportions of the solar collectors are visually akin to those of a skylight, ensuring neither the roof lines nor the architectural integrity of the home are compromised.
Both the Loline and the Streamline are available in four sizes, three of these with an electric booster and a 260L model with gas booster. Both of these split systems operate on a similar system - a small circulator within the unit is activated by an electronic temperature differential controller. When the controller senses an eight degree difference in temperature between the top of the collectors and the bottom of the tank, the circulator is activated until the temperature difference falls to four degrees.
At night, the circulator provides protection against potential frost damage - if it senses the temperature of the panels is less than three degrees, it will circulate warmer water from the tank into the panels for three minutes or until a temperature of five degrees celsius is reached.
Source: Building Products News.