In part 1 of this article, we found that in most cases for a typical household, evacuated tube Solar Hot Water (SHW) has a quicker payback than PV. In part 2 we will more closely examine why this is the case. We’ll also see that combining both technologies can produce the best outcome for a household.

Use both SHW & PV for combined benefits

The most popular PV system size is now about 5kW, though 3kW systems are also popular. 1.5kW systems are no longer common. Consider that for about the same price as a 5kW system (~$7500), you could retrofit your hot water system and almost have enough change left over to buy a 1.5kW PV system. SunWiz’s analysis showed that evacuated tube SHW was often more financially favourable than PV, but in circumstances where heating hot water was cheap due to low-priced off-peak electricity or natural gas, a small PV system would have better financial outcome than a solar hot water system.

Read more: New study finds Evacuated Tube solar hot water often pays for itself quicker than typical solar...

People should be considering solar hot water (SHW) and solar power (PV) in combination, rather than entirely covering their roof with PV

Prior to 2010, the word ‘solar’ referred more to Solar Hot Water (SHW) than to PV. While solar power was a cottage industry, there were tens of thousands of SHW units being installed every year. At its peak in 2009, the Australian SHW sector installed 200,000 solar water heaters (including air-sourced heat pumps), compared to just over 50,000 PV systems. This all changed in 2010 as PV overtook SHW to be the dominant solar technology in Australia.

Solar Hot Water PV Comparison 1

Read more: New study finds Evacuated Tube solar hot water often pays for itself quicker than typical solar...

SunWiz, developer of PVsell, is seeking a self-starting employee with a diverse skill set.

About PVsell

PVsell is a cloud-based software tool used by hundreds of Australian solar retailers to calculate the Return on Investment for a PV system, in order to secure a sale. PVsell was launched three years ago. Since September 2014, SunWiz has been redeveloping PVsell to make it more intuitive and user-friendly, and increased the amount of help resources, so that we may scale internationally.

Read more: PVsell Employee Needed!

I was overwhelmed with the response to my call-out for donations to Syrian refugees in Turkey. You may recall a little over a week ago, I sent out an email calling for donations of clothes, with which I would take to Istanbul on my visit and distribute to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees about to endure Istanbul’s cold winter. I received many responses congratulating me on my actions, and many from people who would have loved to donate clothes but for the fact that we lived in different cities.

Read more: A big thank you from Syrian Refugees in Istanbul

This story doesn't sound like its got a lot to do with solar system reliability... but stick with it
Not many people know it, but when I graduated from my Science/Engineering degrees, my first job was as a hardware development engineer at a Telecommunications equipment startup. Apart from doing some hard core design work at Gbps speeds on optical fibre interfaces, I was also responsible for demonstrating that the equipment met its reliability promises - so the company could stand by its warranty without fear of in-field failure en-masse. Exactly the question that micro-inverter manufacturers must make when offering 25 years warranty before they have 25 years of operational experience. 
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