Low-energy hot water systems

Domestic solar hot water system with evacuated tubesWater heating accounts for around a quarter of household energy use in Australia. Low-energy water heating systems can reduce energy used for heating water by 60 to 80 per cent – or more – depending on the system type and location. This paper outlines considerations to help architects and designers to specify the appropriate system for their building. Considerations include climate, available roof space, orientation, usage, water quality and visual profile. The topic of low-energy hot water systems is especially pertinent to developments aiming to be net zero energy or energy positive.

Originally authored by Gareth Cole as TEC 5 in August 1998 and updated in 2004, this note was revised by Mick Harris as EDG 68 MH in July 2011. The current revision was updated by Noy Hildebrand and reviewed by David Ferrari, courtesy of Sustainability Victoria.

note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Site, climate and building context
  3. Solar hot water systems
  4. Solar collectors
  5. Heat pump systems
  6. Water storage
  7. Boosters
  8. Summary