Power Talk: Latest News And Views From The Energy Sector

Benefits of solar hot water for seniors on a budget

Posted by on 2-02-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Benefits of solar hot water for seniors on a budget

Taking advantage of solar energy is a viable option for many Australian homeowners, however large-scale solar installations can be costly. If you’re a senior on a limited income or pension you may think that solar energy is not within your budget; however installing a solar hot water system can be both affordable and worthwhile. Check out these benefits of solar hot water for seniors on a budget.

Save on your water heating costs

As water heating costs can amount to 16% of your annual energy bill, there are considerable savings to be made by switching to a solar hot water system. If you currently have an electric hot water storage system, installing a gas-boosted solar water heater could save you over $500 per year. This is a sizeable saving for seniors on a pension or limited income—perhaps that money could be better spent on keeping your home climate controlled in extreme temperatures, or even contributed to your private health insurance.

Lower your carbon footprint

Solar hot water systems are a great way to decrease your environmental impact by substantially reducing your carbon emissions. It can be difficult for seniors on a budget to find ways to significantly lower their carbon footprint, as many large-scale energy efficient changes require large financial investments. By installing a solar hot water system, you can reduce your emissions by up to four tonnes of CO2 annually—equivalent to the yearly emissions of a large car.

Install on a smaller residence

Having a large solar panel system installed on your roof requires a decent-sized roof space facing the right direction—something you may not have if you are in a smaller unit, granny flat or retirement village. As a solar hot water system only requires a small north-facing space on your roof, it’s a suitable alternative for even the smallest residence. To discuss the viability of installing a solar hot water heater at your home, contact your local solar installation professional for personalised expert advice.

Take advantage of rebates and certificates

If you have a solar water heater installed that meets the criteria under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001, you may be eligible to receive small-scale technology certificates. These certificates can be used as a form of currency, and can be sold on the renewable energy certificate market for a fluctuating price. How many certificates you are eligible for can be approximately calculated here depending on your system brand, model, installation date and postcode.

You may also be eligible for a rebate on your solar hot water system installation, however this varies in each state. These financial incentives make solar hot water a viable and appealing option for seniors on a budget. To discuss the range of solar hot water systems available in your area and price range, contact your local solar installation professional today.

Installation Tips For Your Heat Pump Water Heater System

Posted by on 2-02-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Installation Tips For Your Heat Pump Water Heater System

Heat pumps are highly efficient when it comes to consuming energy. According to EnergyRating, they are 3 times more energy efficient compared to electric heaters. However, this is not a guaranteed result. For you to enjoy low energy consumption from your heat pump water heater, you must make sure it’s installed in the right way. Find out how to do that, plus much more, below.

Install the unit outside

Unlike gas heaters or electric heaters that can operate inside the house, heat pump water heaters must be installed outside. This is because the evaporator needs contact with as much hot air as possible. That means it needs to be outside where the sun-heated air is. Placed indoors, the unit would not provide any heating whatsoever. However, if yours is a split unit, i.e. has a separate evaporator and condenser, you can install the latter outside and the former indoors.

Make sure the unit has maximum sun exposure

Again, remember that the whole point of installing the unit outside is so that it can be in contact with as much heated air as possible. In that regard, simply installing the unit outside is not enough, it must be located in a part of your yard where there’s a lot of sun throughout the day. If placed behind a shaded areas, your unit will offer very little cooling or will have to result to the booster power to heat your water.

Place the unit in an open area

In addition to the above requirements, you should have the heat pump placed in an area that is open and free from obstructions. The evaporator has a fan that will be drawing hot air in into its heat exchanger. For maximum efficiency, it needs to draw in as much hot air as possible. That said, do not place the unit next to a water tank or anything that might prevent the hot air from accessing the unit freely.

Keep the unit away from busy areas

The evaporator fan can be noisy if you have a quiet home. It makes as much noise as an air conditioning condenser fan. To ensure you keep getting the peace and quiet you are used to, therefore, have the unit installed far from your busy areas, e.g. living room, dining room or bedrooms. Also keep the unit away from your neighbour’s property.

Install the unit close to usage point

Lastly, have the unit placed as close to the hot water source as possible. This has several benefits. First, it will reduce energy loss in the hot water’s path from the heat pump to the destination, e.g. the kitchen sink or bathroom showerhead. Two, it will help reduce the amount of electrical power needed to pump the water.

Though it’s quite a handful, ensure you observe the above considerations to enjoy your heat pump water heater to the fullest. For more information about heat pumps, contact an installation company. 

Cooling Tower Spare Parts: Comparison of 3 Attributes Between Forced and Induced Draft Parts

Posted by on 2-02-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cooling Tower Spare Parts: Comparison of 3 Attributes Between Forced and Induced Draft Parts

When building or repairing a cooling tower, you have the opportunity to choose parts, such as bearings, that would either transform the cooling tower into a forced draft model or an induced draft model. Forced draft cooling towers have tube sections that are installed to the discharge side of the fan, whereas induced draft cooling towers have them installed near the suction side of the fan. Both types of cooling towers possess advantages and disadvantages. 

Overall Efficiency Based on Air Distribution

The overall efficiency of cool air distribution will affect the performance of the cooling tower. In general, induced cooling tower parts are better at handing air distribution across the bundles because they have the capacity to better control airflow.

In comparison, the location of the tubes and the design of forced draft cooling towers cause them to be less efficient in this sense. The air distribution tends to be less uniform. 

Power Requirements Involved

The amount of power that is needed to power the cooling towers should also be another attribute that you should take into consideration. This attribute will affect the cost of your energy bills. In this area, forced draft cooling towers tend to be superior. The fan in these designs are located closer to the cold air streams.  As a result, a lower fan power is needed.

To achieve the same results, more power is required for induced draft cooling towers. This is due to the fact that the design of the parts for induced draft cooling towers are installed in a way that the fan is located amidst the warmer air streams. 

Maintenance Required

The amount of maintenance that is required for both forced draft cooling towers and induced draft cooling towers will also vary. Generally speaking, induced draft cooling towers are harder to maintain and inspect. The mechanical components and parts of these cooling towers are difficult to access because they are generally located in inconspicuous areas, such as behind tubing. Although they are difficult to access, they are also typically located in areas that are not exposed to external elements.

On the other hand, accessing forced draft cooling tower parts is a lot easier. The mechanical components and parts are located in easily accessible areas, like right behind the access panel. As these parts are easier to maintain, maintenance generally does not involve taking apart the entire tower. Although these parts are easy to access, they are usually also located in areas that are easily exposed to external elements.


When building or repairing cooling towers, the type of parts that you choose will affect whether the cooling towers rely on a forced draft system or an induced draft system. Both possess unique characteristics that make them suitable for different environments and conditions.