Getting Most of my Hot Water From Solar Energy Panels

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As part of the heating upgrades I made to the house I added solar tubes to heat water. When they were installed the weather wasn't that great, so the amount of hot water they were able to heat was minimal, though they still gave me 20° - 30° C. As the weather has improved the solar panels' performance has improved dramatically.

This morning I checked how much heat was being generated and I was delighted to see that I was getting nearly all my hot water from the solar tubes:

hot water heated by solar energy

At around midday today, when I took that photo, the system was showing that I was getting 60° C from the solar tubes. My current setting for hot water is 62°, though 60° would be more than hot enough for showers and washing.

I'd love to be able to say the hot water is "free", but the solar setup that I got installed is too new to have paid for itself yet. I suppose I could confidently say that I'm now getting all my hot water at no extra cost. Either way I'm delighted to see how well the solar energy stuff is working.

There are a few other minor tweaks that I need to make to the house in order to help improve its overall BER rating. When the BER rating on the house was last checked back in 2015 (before I bought it) it got a C2. I've no idea how much of an impact overall the various changes I've made will have on the BER rating, but I would expect it to move up a couple of grades. The BER advisory report that the assessors provide is an interesting read, so I look forward to finding out what kind of changes I can continue to make. I know, for example, that replacing some of the windows and doors will help, though I'm not 100% sure if I want to make that level of investment right now.

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