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Pull the Plug regularly brings the latest news in the field of green energy and sustainable energy.

Solar water heater: do or not?
14 Jul, 2019

Één van de weinige technieken die nog steeds een premie krijgt van de Vlaamse Overheid is de klassieke zonneboiler. Gelukkig maar, want zonder deze premie zou je het systeem bijna nooit kunnen terugverdienen. Met prijzen die varieren van €4.000 tot €8.000 wordt al snel duidelijk dat je al heel wat gas, mazout of andere moet besparen om een goede zaak te doen.

That is mainly because a traditional solar water heater is a fairly complex system with many components, and you also have to have regular maintenance on it.

A tube or flat plate collector on the roof, insulated INOX pipes up to the boiler, a pump group with associated control, expansion vessels and pressure relief valves, etc … A beautiful example of technology but quite complex and expensive.

The Pull The Plug team thought this could be improved and went looking for an alternative: the solar boiler. The ultimate goal remains the same: heating water with the sun!

The solar water heater consists of a traditional sanitary hot water heater with a special electrical resistance in it. This resistor has the interesting feature that you can directly connect photovoltaic solar panels, which can immediately convert their solar energy into hot water. No complicated components, controls and tubes. Two cables the thickness of a ballpoint are sufficient to bring the power from the roof to the boiler.

But what exactly are those benefits?

  • Cost-effective water heater.
  • Maintenance-free.
  • Direct conversion of light into heat.
  • Works even when there is no sun.
  • E-level drops due to the extra PV panels
  • No prosumers rate because not networked

These last two deserve some extra explanation. Newly built homes are subject to the EPB legislation. They must achieve a certain E-level that represents the energy consumption of the home. The lower that E-level, the better.

PV panels score very well in the EPB and so the installation of a solar water heater will lower the E-level of the home.

For the use of the public power grid, solar panel owners must pay a tax. The so-called prosumers rate. Fortunately, this tax only applies to grid-connected systems with an inverter and therefore not to our boiler. Win-win!

The smart resistor can also be used for existing PV installations with overproduction. A counter is then installed that measures whether you are injecting or purchasing electricity. For example, if there is 500 watt injection, the resistor will heat with 500 watt water. This way you avoid injection at a low rate. (Read more in our previous blog post “Overproduction of solar energy: how to use it best?” )

With battery systems, the resistance is addressed as soon as the battery is full and there is still solar power available.

Also convinced?

Take the step and #PullThePlug!
Take contact and request a free and no-obligation energy audit at your home by our PTP team.

See you soon!