3 December 2015

Have Your Say

Zoned Map for Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters for residential properties are becoming more popular but did you know the geography of the installed location can have a significant impact on the performance, energy efficiency and owner usage patterns? This is because air temperature, humidity, cloud cover, water temperature and frost can influence appliance performance including energy use.

As part of the Zoned Energy Rating Label (ZERL) project, the Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee has undertaken research to define a zoned map for solar water heaters (SWH) and documented the methodology used in a paper for public consultation. The map shows performance of SWHs in differing regions of Australia and New Zealand.

The zoned map shows three consolidated areas which represent the savings a reference solar water heater achieves when modelled to deliver a medium hot water load (as specified in AS/NZS 4234). The areas are identified as:

  • Hot zone: an area where a reference solar water heater has energy savings greater than 80% compared to a reference electric water heater system.
  • Mixed zone: an area where the expected savings are between 60% and 80%.
  • Cold zone: an area where the expected savings are below 60%.

Further, the approach taken adopts high resolution spatial zoning whereby the 69 Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) climate regions from Australia and the 18 New Zealand climate files will be used. Using these regions and their climate files will allow for improved spatial resolution on the zoned map for SWHs and the ability to drill down for location specific information on the web or via mobile application.

We are seeking comments and views on the overall approach and technical elements of the methodology used by 1 February 2016.

Zoned Map for Solar Water Heaters Consultation