Debunked: 3 Myths about Solar Heating

Debunked: 3 Myths about Solar Heating

MYTH: Solar is easy to incorporate and provides energy at no cost, and it is cost effective to install if you have the capital

Answer: Solar energy is great to have to reduce your carbon foot print and operating costs, however, the purchase and installation cost are considerable and usually take some years to recoup.

The method of controlling the solar energy is important to ensure that the solar energy is available efficiently. High efficiency with the energy switched through to maximise economies is usually not part of a standard solar energy proposal except for large complex control systems which can be very expensive. The heating energy load can be considerably higher than the solar provision.  It is common for a basic small solar system to be installed with the perception that it will meet most demands efficiently.  It is important to research carefully what the system will provide and match this to the need.  Meeting the need also needs the awareness that solar energy often may not be available when it is really needed, such as when there is a week or two for cloudy or wet weather in the middle of winter.  Storage facilities, such as batteries, rarely can cover for such occurrences. Heating systems commonly demand energy in the evenings when solar energy is not available.


MYTH: Solar hydronic systems on the market are highly efficient and cost effective, just expensive to install.

Answer: It can be a challenge to find a solar hydronic system on the market that is highly efficient and cost effective.  It is true that installation can be quite costly, but these systems typically are not that cost effective because the control system used does not provide efficient harvesting and distribution of the solar energy that is collected, or simply because the harvesting itself is not efficient.

We have installed a number of solar hydronic systems in recent years, however, felt that we could deliver even better outcomes and efficiencies for our customers.  This encouraged us to develop a system that is designed for Australian conditions to manage sustainable energy by effectively utilising renewable energy sources.  The outcome is the overall management of hydronic energy captured, with effective energy distribution, all through our Solamander® Hydronic Energy Hub which was developed here at Devex Systems and can be viewed in operation at our premises. The design is so successful that Solamander® was a finalist in the Innovation of the Year award for 2015 also won the regional 2015 Excellence in Innovation award and the Solamander® solution has been applauded by architects.


MYTH: Heat pumps are the way to go for HFH

Answer: The option of a heat pump looks good when considering the energy usage and operating cost but the additional capital outlay could be around an additional $15,000 for an average hydronic heated home.  This is hard to justify based on existing energy costs and expected heat pump life.  However, very small hydronic installations can be most economical to run with some of the recently released high efficiency heat pumps that are almost completely silent when running.  Currently gas boilers are the most popular at an attractive capital cost and with a reasonable running cost.  This may change in the future if the latest technology heat pumps are released in a larger size at an appropriate cost and a heat pump can be installed in place of a gas boiler for under floor heating should this later become a cost effective upgrade, something to consider as a gas boiler nears the end of its practical life.


Devex Systems  offers sustainable and integrated energy solutions using solar heating.  Click on the below links to learn more!

Solar Energy Solutions – Solamander

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