Your questions answered as sure as night and day.
1. How does my Solarstream make heat from air?
14. What is VEET?
15. What is a VEEC?
Most people are familiar with solar energy from radiation – where the heat of the sun is captured by solar panels or evacuated tubes.
However there is an even easier way of capturing solar energy! This method is known as air convection and all you need is to make heat is air flow.
Solarstream heat pump water heaters are actually convection solar water heaters that work like your refrigerator but in reverse. With your fridge, heat is taken out of it while it cools and using convection is transferred into the air in your kitchen. The Solarstream heat pump water heater uses innovative technology to draw the heat from the ambient air. The air is drawn across fin coils in the heat pump, transferred to liquid refrigerant then evaporated into a gas.
This warm gas is compressed into a superheated gas at 90 degrees C by an efficient rotary compressor. The superheated gas is then efficiently transferred to the water inside your element free hot water tank using a special patented method. The absence of any element inside your tank means that there is nothing to ‘gum up’ over time. (Think about the mineral element build up that happens on the electric element of your kettle).
Instead Solarstream’s element free design turns the walls of your stainless steel cylinder into a gentle broad heater that resists mineral deposits. The result is efficient hot water night and day for the entire extensive life of your Solarstream heat pump water heater.
All these innovative design features allow your Solarstream to work at night, in the cold, during rain, when it’s cloudy or even during extreme humidity. Siddons Solarstream is very economical to operate when compared to conventional electric element water heating where power is being pushed through an electric resistance element, which you will know from running an electric radiator is very expensive and inefficient. Plus unlike other solar or gas heaters, Solarstream does not require an electric booster and just like your fridge, only needs a small compressor pump.
Solar heat from air is made possible by Solarstream, as sure as night and day.
The Siddons family pioneered direct transfer technology in the late 1970’s knowing that it would be a better, more efficient method than using a pump to transfer the hot gas to the water tank, as was the norm.
Many different methods were tested until eventually a coil wrapped tightly around the outside of the tank was found to be the answer. For this to work efficiently, one side of the coil through the tank wall to the water inside needed to be highly conductive, whilst the other side, (the heat loss side), needed to be very well insulated.
Therefore, 50mm of urethane foam is used for excellent insulation as well as aluminium foil to reflect any radiant heat to minimize the overall heat loss. The “direct transfer” side through the tank wall has conductive heat paste that spreads the heat in the coils over the whole tank wall then transferring the heat directly to the water inside. Therefore, there need for a transfer pump was successfully removed, reducing power usage and increasing the efficiency of the water heater.
When the heat is transferred to the water, the gas turns back into a liquid, (a process known as “phase change”), and energy is released. The liquid refrigerant then transfers back from the water tank to the Heat Pump after passing through an expansion device to release the pressure created by the compressor, and is ready for the evaporator again and the heating cycle to repeat.
The Siddons Solarstream “direct transfer” design increases the working life of your water tank as the tank walls become a large, gentle heating surface that resists the build-up of mineral deposits such as calcium. There are no anodes or other heating elements inside the water tank to break, wear out or foul.
In 1995 Siddons launched a new Solarstream model that went one step further by improving the copper coil so it didn’t need to be welded to the tank wall. Now the copper coil and the stainless steel tank wall can expand and contract differently as they heat and cool making the tank even stronger and trouble free.
- Solarstream uses up to 75% less power than an electric water heater. At 22 degrees C, Solarstream can efficiently heat 327 litres of water to a steaming 50 degrees Celsius in just two and a half hours – consuming only around 2.5 kw of power which amounts to only 50 cents! It only takes another hour for the water to be heated to a very hot 60 degrees C. In daily operation, the run time is less because you will usually have hot water stored, so your Solarstream will only need to heat the hot water actually used, and to recover a small amount of overall heat loss, about 1.5 – 2 degrees C per day.
- In Southern climates it will cost less than 30 cents a day using off peak power to operate your Solarstream, making it cheaper to run than a bottled gas water heater.
- In daily operation in a Southern climate, the Solarstream only needs to operate for an average of 3 hours per 24 hours over the year to easily satisfy the typical needs of a four person family home.
- Heat loss over 24 hours is kept to a low 2 degrees Celsius resulting in minimal energy wastage.
- Solarstream does not require an electric booster when it’s cold yet it continues to provide hot water in the cold down to -5 degrees Celsius.
- Your Solarstream can operate on off-peak tariffs for even greater energy savings, as sure as night and day.
You can reduce your energy consumption by one third. With continuing power cost rises expected of 15% per year minimum, you need do something about your rising water heating costs today. Call us now about installing a Solarstream.
There are currently over 7 million separate domestic water heaters installed in Australian houses, and a further 1 million in apartments and other accommodation.
Included in this is the more than four million dwellings in Australia that still have electric element hot water heaters. If the power from these four million water heaters could be cut by 75%, Australia would make one huge step forward to meeting its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.
It is estimated that about 75% of water heater sales are for the replacement of an existing unit. Of the remainder 20% are installed in new houses and 5% installed during renovation of an existing house. With over $2,000 of rebates on offer in the replacement market, coupled with savings from lifetime efficiency, it makes complete sense to install to a Siddons Solarstream.
You don’t have to wait for your current water heater to stop working. You can make a smart choice and start saving today. Do it for Australia!
Reference: “Regulation Impact Statement: for Decision Phasing Out Greenhouse-Intensive Water Heaters in Australian Homes. Prepared for the National Framework for Energy Efficiency by George Wilkenfeld & Associates with National Institute of Economic & Industry Research 15 November 2010.”
Right at the moment, Australia is awash with water but we know it is important to continue to conserve water for the future.
A Siddons Solarstream heat pump water heater does not suffer from overheating in the sweltering summer sun, it simply turns off. Further it will not boil the water if the thermostat is faulty ensuring the continued life of your water tank.
Solar panels on the roof can often overheat. When that happens they circulate water to cool them down. Unfortunately this water is then inefficiently dumped. This problem increases when you are not at home to use the hot water. The Solarstream will wait patient and idle for your return. At the most it will turn on after 4 or 5 days to top up the heat and then go to sleep. You can install one in your holiday house and leave it on all the time, knowing that it will cost you less than $1.00 per week yet provide you with hot water as soon as you arrive, as sure as night and day.
Most stainless steel condenser water tanks last more than 20 years. Siddons Solarstream tanks are guaranteed for 10 years in normal domestic use. The full life span will depend on your water quality – the purer the water, the longer the life.
The Solarstream Heat Pump outdoor unit is similar to a reverse cycle air conditioner with a similar life span. The compressor is made in Japan by Toshiba, is an efficient rotary type, and is guaranteed for 4 years.
Siddons Solarstream has been specifically designed to work in both hot and cold climates.
Your Solarstream heat pump water heater will operate effectively between -5 and +45 degrees Celsius as sure as night and day. It is designed with extreme low and high temperature systems to give it the broadest operating temperature range on the market.
The Solarstream will make hot water in winter from -5 degrees Celsius ambient air temperature. An intelligent de-icing controller will activate a de-ice cycle in freezing conditions to de-ice the fin coil of the evaporator. It will then switch back to its normal heating cycle when the evaporator fin coil is clear of ice. In addition it will cleverly adjust itself automatically to tune the de-icing cycle to the cold temperatures it experiences.
At high temperatures, a special cooling capillary is activated to supply cold refrigerant to cool the compressor, and a shut off, fail-safe system is designed into the heat pump, constantly monitoring the compressor temperature. In the unlikely event of over-heating or gas loss, it will activate and cut power to the Heat Pump so you will know to call us for service.
The Siddons Solarstream heat pump water heater is able to operate at night because it utilizes breakthrough technology to extract solar energy from the ambient air rather than relying on radiated heat from the sun (like Solar Panels or Evacuated Tubes). Night time off peak electricity tariffs are nearly half that of day tariffs (ask your electricity provider for rates) so it makes sense to heat water at night.
As long as your normal daily water use is less than the water capacity of the Solarstream model you have purchased, the hot water produced during the nightly Off-Peak Tariff period (approx 3-4 hours depending on your ambient water and air temperature) will be available to you throughout the following day, as sure as night and day.
Not only does the Solarstream save you money, it can also help make money. If you have installed Photo Voltaic Cells for power generation during the day, you will reach the lucrative 60 cents per kw/h feed-in credit tariff more quickly if you can transfer your water heating power needs to the night.
The best way to compare against other products for performance is to compare the Australian Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) awarded to these products over a ten year period. Note: since 1 January 2011, RECS are now known as STCs.
Please refer to the STCs, LGCs & RECs section on our website for the STCs assigned to the Solarstream heat pump water heaters.
Heat Pump Water Heaters are included on the Federal Government’s “register of solar water heaters” attracting new and improved rebates through the Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) of $40 fixed price per STC. Siddons Solarstream Heat Pump Water Heaters attract around 30 STCs depending on your model and climatic zone, which works out to around a $1,200 rebate. Add to this State and Federal rebates to change over your electric element water heater and your rebates may add up to over $2,000, reducing your net cost of purchasing a Siddons Solarstream Heat Pump Water Heater to around $2,000.
The Siddons Solarstream water heater competes best in large domestic and small commercial situations in cooler climates, where solar water heaters relying on radiated heat from the sun are not as effective. Additionally, in marine environments, the Solarstream condenser tank will not rust and in non gas reticulated areas the Solarstream is particularly effective.
In warmer, monsoonal or windy climates where placing solar structures like panels and tubes on roofs is not practical, the Solarstream competes with efficiency and ultimate safety.
Based on user experience and from our own monitored sites in Melbourne of an average family usage of 210-240 litres/day, we have found power costs to average $150 a year, and less using off-peak tariffs. This makes the Solarstream very cost effective to operate in any climate.
Depending on your application, two or more of our standard models can be easily grouped together to handle your commercial, sporting or community hot water requirements. If you have already installed an evacuated tube system and are concerned about your high winter power bills from its back-up electric element, simply connect a Solarstream heat pump – it will cleverly shoulder the work and cut your winter water costs by up to 75%.
Heat Pump Water Heaters are currently not subject to minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) or any form of mandatory government-issued energy rating label. They will eventually be included in the Equipment Energy Efficiency Program, but for now Heat Pump Water Heaters are a low priority for Government regulation due to their high efficiency compared to conventional electric and gas storage water heaters.
STCs were formally known as RECs. STCs are Small-scale Technology Certificates issued by Federal rebate from 1 January 2011 to assist Sustainability. Follow the link to our STCs page to find out more about STCs.
Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme
If you live in Victoria, in addition to the Australian Government rebate of $600, is the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme. This is a Victorian Government initiative promoted as Energy Saver Incentive. The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme, which commenced on 1 January 2009, aims to encourage the uptake of energy efficient technology, initially in the residential sector. The VEET scheme plays an important role in achieving the Victorian government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from households by 10 per cent by 2010 and Victoria’s overall emissions to 60 per cent by 2050.
For more information, refer to the Essential Services Commission website.
Siddons Solarstream meets full eligibility for VEET. To use the VEET calculator for Siddons Solarstream models 327SSBD and 264SSSBD in your area under 1C – Decommissioning electric and installing electric boosted solar, follow this link.
If you live in Victoria, you may be eligible for Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEECs) which are electronic certificates created in accordance with the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007 (VEET Act).
Each VEEC represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) abated by a prescribed activity. VEECs are created by accredited persons, validated and registered by the Commission, transferred between parties and eventually surrendered to the Commission to demonstrate liability compliance against the VEET Act. VEECs must be registered by the Commission before they are considered valid. The Commission maintains a register of VEECs. A certificate is only valid as a VEEC if listed in this register. VEECs can only be created in respect of prescribed activities undertaken on or after 1 January 2009 and before 1 January 2030, and must be created by no later than six months after the end of the year in which the prescribed activity has been undertaken. For example, where a prescribed activity is undertaken in February 2009, VEECs can be created in respect of that activity up to 30 June 2010. A VEEC will expire 6 years from the date on which the prescribed activity was undertaken, or upon surrender to the Commission.
For more information, refer to the Essential Services Commission website
Please refer to the information on Page 4 of the Siddons Solarstream Owner’s Manual on our Downloads page.
Installation of your Solarstream heat pump water heater will typically be less than $1,000, far less than installing panels on your roof and ascetically more pleasing.
In many situations, solar panels are simply not appropriate:
- If your roof is not facing north so they won’t work.
- If your roof is not designed to handle the huge additional weight of a tank (approaching half a tonne when filled with water).
- In areas prone to torrential rain, hail or high winds where panels and tubes are easily damaged.
- On heritage buildings with strict restrictions
You will require a licensed plumber to install your Solarstream. Click to find a licensed plumber in your area.
- Ask your plumber about the water pressure in your street. If your street water pressure is above 500kPa (kilopascal) you will require a pressure limiting valve fitted to the water inlet pipe flowing to your Solarstream. We recommend a pressure limiting valve of high quality rated to 2,000 kPa water supply pressure or request one to be supplied by Siddons.
- What is the estimated cost for installing a Solarstream and how long will it take? These factors are always variable depending on the requirements of the installation. Siddons recommends that your installing plumber view your home/place of installation prior to quoting.
- Have you installed a Solarstream before? Please advise your plumber that Siddons is very happy to offer technical assistance about the installation of a Siddons Solarstream. Technical guides for all trades (electrical, plumbing, refrigeration mechanic) are found in the Downloads area on our website or please contact us.
Siddons Solarstream recommends quality plumbing components for longer life of your Solarstream Water Heater. The Siddons Quickie Plumbing Kit (QIK15-SHP) is designed to make installations more professional and easier. Everything your plumber needs is conveniently included in the one box.
Water contains minerals which can cause problems especially when heated. Also, high water pressure will reduce tank life so the Quickie Kit contains a pressure limiting valve rated to 2,000 kPa that will deliver water to the cylinder at an easy 500kPa. This will deliver good water pressure but not excessive pressure that will waste water and shorten tank life. The components of the Quickie Kit have been designed to meet new plumbing regulations including insulating gloves on all components. For a detailed description of components required for your Solarstream installation please click here.
In most cases where water quality is good, the marine grade 316 stainless steel used in the Solarstream water cylinder is very effective at resisting rust and will last for 20-30 years with a full ten year warranty.
At elevated temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius, the high mineral content that comes with poor quality water (eg from dams and bores) can cause electrolytic conductivity that may attack the stainless steel tank wall causing rust and ultimately make the tank defective.
Where water stored in the tank exceeds the following characteristics an issue with corrosion may occur and void the water tank warranty:
|Total dissolved solids||600 mg/litre or parts per million|
|Total hardness||200 mg/litre or parts per million|
|Chloride||250 mg/litre or parts per million|
|Magnesium||10 mg/litre or parts per million|
|Sodium||150 mg/litre or parts per million|
|Electrical Conductivity||850 μS/cm (micro siemens per centimetre)|
|pH||Min 6.5 and Max 8.5|
To remove any doubt please consult with your local council about the chemical composition of your water.
Operating your Solarstream heat pump water heater for 12 months is highly cost effective at only around $120-$150 a year, and even less on off-peak tariffs. Therefore using additional heating sources to augment the performance of Solarstream is not necessary and unless it’s a commercial application, would not be cost effective. Raising the water temperature above the maximum design temperature of 65 degrees Celcius can also cause problems where the water has high mineral content or high electrical conductivity. Alternations can also void your warranty which applies to the Solarstream product only and does not apply to any additional modifications not specifically endorsed by Siddons Solarstream.
Good airflow across the heat pump fins is required for optimal operation of your Solarstream therefore we recommend brushing or hosing down the fins at least once every 6 months. A build up of grass or other material may prevent good air flow across the fins so keep the fins free of such obstacles.
We also recommend that you release the pressure and temperature relief valve once every twelve months. To do this, simply gently raise and then lower the valve lever (positioned at the top of the tank near the hot water outlet). Refer to your Owner’s Manual for more details.
Firstly, review the troubleshooting section of our website. If the problem remains unresolved, contact the dealer you purchased your unit from for assistance.
If you are unable to reach your dealer for any reason, contact Siddons Solarstream. Please take note of your serial number first for warranty verification purposes.
Yes, for efficient processing of warranty claims, should they arise, please take a minute to register your Siddons Solarstream here.
The 327SSAD simply had a change of model number to 327SSBD. Any current STC claims will need to be made using the model number 327SSBD.