Electric or Gas Booster?Selecting the correct booster is just as important for a solar hot water system as the sizing of the collector and storage tank. Inefficient boosting can result in wasted energy and higher running costs for the consumer.
If electric boosting is best suited for the household, there are a few configurations that can be used.
- Off-Peak boosting - The main benefit of off peak is the lower cost, however if the household showers at night they will drain the tank, off peak will heat overnight and in the morning when the sun comes out no heat is required.
- Electric Timer - Set for 4-6pm daily allows the solar to heat as much as possible and any extra heating is done by electricity prior to evening showers. (Remember the booster will only turn on if water is below 65°C, and will switch off as soon as 65°C is reached).
The biggest benefit of gas boosting is the household will receive virtually unlimited supply of hot water, as gas boosting is done by an instantaneous gas heater.
The Apricus gas boosters are generally a good choice if the home has natural gas or LPG gas connected for cooking and other appliances.
Gas boosters will start only when heating is required, however it is worth explaining to the consumer that if the water in the pipes between the tank and booster goes cold, it may start up for a short period and then switch back off.