Solar hot water - still get large electricity bills, huh?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by mr_wibble, 13/2/18 at 10:05 PM.

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  1. mr_wibble

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    Posted 13/2/18 at 10:05 PM
    So a couple of years ago our old faithful, reliable hot water system rusted through.
    We fount out, much to our disappointment, it was irreplaceable and we had to drop $6.5k on a solar system. Great.

    Since then we're always running out of hot water in winter, and the hot tap-water is never quite hot enough. *sigh*.

    But the latest stinker: Hot water electricity costs for mid-winter: $850, Hot water costs for mid-summer: $550 (off peak booster rates)

    W-T-F!

    How can this be? Yes the booster is on, but the guys from the solar company said it was all automatic, and if it wasn't needed it would not even turn on.

    Do you think the solar doo-hickey is broken?
    Or is this normal?
     
  2. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 13/2/18 at 10:22 PM
    That doesn't sound right, is that just the cost of the hot water?
     
  3. wynnum1

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    Posted 13/2/18 at 10:26 PM
    If you spent $6.5k on a solar hot water system may be a good idea to take a cold shower .
     
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  4. Dave70

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 12:27 AM
    As a former plumber, I would love to *hear what you got for 6.5k..

    *here...*
     
    Last edited: 14/2/18 at 3:14 AM
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  5. scomet

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 12:46 AM
    Dave, no change from 6.5k for a solarhart black chrome12 in the west, ours just $hit itself, again...

    Mr Wibble I'd check the glycol thermo syphon if its a jacketed system, that don't sound right, we are looking at a heat pump but they are b* expensive for a good one...
     
  6. Dave70

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 1:33 AM
    Christ..
    Could have got a decent 5kw solar set up for that coin.
     
  7. Airgead

    Ohhh... I can write anything I like here

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 2:16 AM
    We pay 9/10 of f-all for our hot water on solar. Our system is 20+years old (needs replacing). Definitely going solar again for the new system. Maybe even solar boosted heat pump if the budget will stretch.

    It sounds like your solar isn't heating with solar but relying on the booster. The thermosyphon could be wrongly installed. We had ours serviced a while back and couldn't work out why our bills were suddenly higher. Turns out the numpty who serviced it ifitted an o ring wrong and stopped the syphon from syphoning.

    The tap water never quite hot enough is probably because they are now required to install one of those mixer valves that limit the hotness of the water so you can't burn yourself (or do the washing up properly because the water isn't hot enough). The old system probably didn't have one of those.
     
  8. Dave70

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 2:25 AM
    You know you can tamper with the tamper proof thermostatic mixing valve if you need to. Had to ramp ours up. My wife likes to shower in water just below boiling temp..

    (Dont forget to throw your hat in the ring for the Inkbird draw mate, its going right off!!)
     
  9. Stouter

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 3:17 AM
    As per Daves comment, bypass the thermo mixing valve, this may be fucked or set very low by mistake.
    I recall as an apprentice our lecturer at TAFE commenting that the cheapest option was off-peak electric storage systems. But this was over 20yrs ago, and each state has different costs for different fuels.
    We replaced our own solar system 3 yrs ago for just over $4500 after a burst tank. That's a jacketed tank, and got solar panels for house elect. around the same time. I find in Winter we use the booster for the HWS about 1 month of the year, the rest of the year we're sweet, and that's a family of 5 plus the wife's daycare requirements.
    Kind of depends on how much sunshine you get(we're on about 14hrs daylight ATM), when you use the hot water, family size, any water saving shr heads, etc.
    You're buy seems like a lot of coin though. Must be some goldplated sacrificial anodes inside that tank.
     
  10. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 4:21 AM
    I try to do most of my brewing now, while there is plenty of sunshine, my FIT goes towards the gas, the only bills we get is for the winter gas. But they will stuff that up by increasing the power bills every 6 months by 20% by the time 2024 comes around when the FIT stops I hope the batteries will be cheaper.
     
  11. Dave70

    Le roi est mort..

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 4:44 AM
    By 2024 Elon Musk will be selling batteries the size of grain silos that plug into your house and flash charge your Tesla just by parking it nearby. These will be replenished by energy harvested directly Musks own marketing hype.
     
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  12. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 6:21 AM
    Hope he does I think he probably will have something not to expensive, or the government takes heed of what Abbot has said and start building coal fired power stations again. Cant be a world leader in arms manufacture unless we have cheap electricity to power the factories Malcolm wants to build the arms.
     
  13. Maheel

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 9:33 AM
    Is it to try to keep you from joining her? :)
     
  14. Dave70

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 10:48 AM
    Its worth a slight scalding.
     
  15. Dave70

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 10:53 AM
    I see cyber attacks featuring highly in future warfare, conventional arms, not so much. So that plan by Mal would make perfect sense. Perhaps he can have the trusty Collins Class subs retrofitted with launch pads suitable for V2 rockets.
    And have them installed in Japan.
     
  16. mr_wibble

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 8:34 PM
    We did pay an extra $$$ (can't remember, $500? $800?) to get the stainless steel tank option.

    But that was about average of all the quotes we got.
     
  17. mr_wibble

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 8:35 PM
    Yes, just the "off peak" electricity costs, and only the HWS is connected to it.

    EDIT: Hmm, now I think of it, that might be the whole bill. but the HWS is about 30-50% of the total. I will find the bill.
     
    Last edited: 14/2/18 at 8:53 PM
  18. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 8:43 PM
    I would be getting it checked out definitely something amiss there.
     
  19. mr_wibble

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 8:52 PM
    I was shopping with the kids in Sydney. At the base of the building Kinokuniya bookshop is in, there was a Tesla "SUV" there on display. It looked interesting with an empty(ish) engine bay and boot. I had a bit of a drool at the inside electronics when the handsome young pre-sales guy started talking to me (I'm not really interested in cars, but in-dash software systems, that's different) . I asked a few questions about the electronics which he answered well. But then he mentioned the $140k price, and asked for my email address.

    I figured we were both wasting each others time at that point.
     
  20. mr_wibble

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    Posted 14/2/18 at 9:03 PM
    It's a Rinnai 340(?) litre stainless HWS that pumps something (glycol?) up to 2x solar panels on the roof.
    The system itself looks just like a regular HWS-tank-thing, but there's shrouded pipes that go over the roof.
    The panels are on the western side of the house, and the HWS on the east. Obviously this isn't ideal - but the house faces north, with a ridge-line north-south, so that was the only simple option.

    Maybe a large chunk of the cost was installation.
     

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