What is a Heat Pump Hot Water System?
Heat Pump Hot Water Systems are the latest technology in water heating and could potentially slash your hot water heating costs by up to 80% by using the surrounding Tasmanian air as their energy source to heat the water through a heat-exchange process.
They are conventionally very similar in looks to standard electric hot water systems, the main visual difference between standard electric systems and heat pump systems are the compressors. Either combined at the top of the cylinder itself, or a split system compressor unit.
Heat pump hot water heaters absorb warmth from the ambient air and transfer it to heat water within the cylinder through the use of a refrigerant.
The refrigerant used in both the Reclaim and Sanden units is R744, a CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) refrigerant, which is not a CFC (Chlorofluorocarbons), so it doesn’t negatively affect the earth’s ozone layer. CFC's are compounds consisting of chlorine, fluorine & carbon atoms and are considered to be non-eco-friendly refrigerant gasses.
The combined heat pump hot water systems, iStore and Enviroheat, use refrigerant R134a which is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), that has a very low ozone impact and greenhouse affects. HFC's are a lower cost alternative to the CO2 R744.
The compressor unit will then compress these gases, and as a result it generates a large amount of heat which is then transferred through the system and heats the water, ready for use in your home or business.
Why Are They More Efficient?
Heat pumps use mainly renewable energy, pulling in outside air to heat the system without the need of an electric element, solar panels or large amounts of energy.
They are vastly more efficient with energy consumption than standard electric hot water systems, in comparison the Reclaim system uses on average uses 3kW of energy per day, whereas a standard electric hot water system can use up to 3.6kW per hour, making it an environmentally friendly hot water option given the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through less energy requirements.
Heat Pump Hot Water Systems and Solar
Heat pump hot water systems are great when combined with a solar installation as these new systems often have timer functions built in that can be adjusted to operate during certian times of the day. Adjusting the timer functions so that the systems are heating during the peak sunlight hours of the day mean the solar will be helping reduce electricity pulled from the grid. The lower energy consumption of the HPHW (Heat Pump Hot Water) systems also means relying less on the grid to power the heating costs.
Heat Pump Hot Water Systems and Tariff 93
Conventionally, Tasmanian homes are connected to the grid on TWO flat rate tariffs, tariff 31 (light and power) and tariff 41 (heating and hot water). Tariff 41 heating and hot water, refers to the electricity charge for your hot water systems, air conditioners, hardwired heaters in your homes and also private residential, domestic indoor pools (not spas). Tariff 31 is basically everything else in your home, your lights and all your powerpoints.
Auroras Tariff 93, Peak and Off-Peak allows homes to combine both tariffs into one and gives homeowners the choice of using electricity at cheaper times of the day. As mentioned previously a majority of HPHW systems have a timer function built in, so they can be programmed to operate during the cheaper times of the day and night.
If you have a standard electric hot water system, you can have a hot water timer installed in your switchboard that allows the hot water system to operate between these peak times.
For more information on Auroras residential tariffs check out our blog post: Aurora's Tariff 93, Is It Right For You.
What Systems are Available?
There are many heat pump hot water systems available in the market, lots of electricians and plumbers will all have their own preference when it comes to installing and maintaining systems.
At Whitney Electrical and Solar we install four heat pump hot water systems for our customers, Reclaim and Sanden the two split systems, as well as two combined options, the iStore and Enviroheat.
The Systems We Install