Thermodynamic Solar Hot Water System FAQs

How many solar thermodynamic panels do I need?

Most domestic installations require just 1 solar thermodynamic panel. Hot water usage is variable between households, but as a guide, for a family of 4, the 250L capacity cylinder and single panel would be sufficient. For a family of 5, a 300L capacity cylinder with 1 panel. For six or more people in the household a 300L cylinder with 2 solar thermodynamic panels would ensure plenty of hot water. A 500L capacity domestic cylinder is also available. We can recommend the best system to suit your home design and household. 

What is the size and weight of the solar thermodynamic panel?

The panel measures 2m x 800cm and weighs just 8kg.

Do the solar thermodynamic panels have to go on the roof?

No, they can be installed vertically on a wall or balcony or even go on the ground. They do have to be placed in 'landscape' position. Usually the roof gets the most sun which will maximize the efficiency of the system. Check out the pictures in our gallery.

Do the solar thermodynamic panels have to face north?

No, they will also work facing east or west and if on a south aspect roof we can elevate the lower side so they face north. The system is most efficient if the panel is in the sun but does not rely on the sun to operate effectively.

Do the solar thermodynamic panels rust?

No, the panels are made from anodised aluminium so corrosion is not an issue and they do not need any maintenance once installed. The solar thermodynamic panels have a 10 year warranty.

Can the solar thermodynamic panels be painted?

Yes, but ideally in dark colours. They are black which is the best colour for maximum performance.

How hot does the water get?

The operating temperature is 55°C . NZBC requires that the maximum temperature for hot water supply be no more than 55°C, this is because it takes only 5 seconds for 60°C water to burn skin.

What about the risk of Legionnaire's disease?

The system has an automatic "Disinfect" function which is programmed in at commissioning. This meets the NZ Building Code G12 regulation regarding protection of hot water storage from legionella (heat water daily to greater than 60°C, or weekly to greater than 60°C for 1 hour).

Can the Energie system be used to centrally heat my home?

Solar thermodynamics is a very cost effective and efficient way to heat water for central heating. It is ideal as a heat source for in slab hydronic pipework or low temperature radiators. Contact us to size the system to suit your requirements.

Can the Energie system heat my swimming pool?

Yes! Contact us to size the system for your pool. Check out the gallery page to see an example of a community pool heated with solar thermodynamics.

What is the energy consumption of the solar thermodynamic system?

Solar thermodynamics is very energy efficient with a very high performance co-efficient.

The compressor on the domestic model cylinder systems uses 390W when it runs. In a typical hot water usage household it uses 1/2 kwhr per person per day and runs for 2-3 hours per day.

The Solar Block multi-panel system compressor power usage will vary according to the number of panels in the system. Contact us for more information and technical specifications.


What refrigerant is used in the solar panel?

Two types of gas are used: the domestic hot water system uses R134A and the multi panel Solar Block uses R407C. Both are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. These refrigerant gases are in the process of being replaced with R513A which has an even lower GWP (global warming potential) and is non-flammable.

How much does an Energie solar water heating system cost?

We are happy to email an indicative price list if you contact us and share some details so we are best placed to help. We handle, and include in our prices, the refrigeration side of the install. Usually our customers share their plans or similar with us so we can check the equipment locations and install variables, at that point we send an installed quote.

The running costs will depend on how much hot water you use, the solar thermodynamic system will save you about 80% of electricity costs for hot water. Not many appliances pay you back! An average usage family of 4 can expect a pay-back period of about 4-5 years.

How far can the solar thermodynamic panel be positioned from the cylinder?

Ideally no more than15 meters but we have installed systems where the distance is longer and they are performing well. 

How long does it take to install a solar hot water system?

For a new build home we visit the site twice. The first visit is once the roof is complete (and while the scaffolds are still in place) to fix the solar thermodynamic panel. We return later in the build once the cylinder is plumbed in to commission the system.

For a retro-fit situation we liaise with you and the plumber so we can get it all done in one day to minimize any disruption.

Commercial installations time will vary, contact us to discuss your requirements.


How long does the Energie system last?

The expected life of the system is a minimum of 25 years. There are systems in Europe which are over 35 years old and still performing well!