Hot water systems: What are we learning?

Hot water systems: What are we learning?

Mondo is working hard to support communities, including businesses to be wiser with their energy use. After all, if we don’t need the energy, it doesn’t have to be generated!

With the support of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Totally Renewable Yackandandah, Mondo is completing a trial of CO2 heat pumps to find out how they interact with the electricity network and support household energy efficiency.

We are witnessing some great results with households replacing energy-hungry electric storage hot water units with efficient hot water heat pumps. The newer mechanism of heating is just like your split system air conditioner, but the focus of its effort is on heating water! Instead of using a resistive element to heat the water, warmth is drawn from the surrounding air and exchanged into the water.

Analysis of Ubi data is revealing just how much energy is used to heat domestic hot water.

Across the Hume Region, Indigo Power with community groups are cooperating to install highly efficient C02 heat pumps – and residents are consistently achieving reductions in hot water energy use of between 50 and 75%. These heat pumps also draw only between 900 and 1100 Watts to operate, reducing the collective demand on the electricity network (noting a 2-3 hour run time is sufficient to heat the tank). A CO2 heat pump is also whisper-quiet, manages frosts without hiccup and does not require a back-up heating element to boost temperature.

Those who already have solar photovoltaic systems can choose to get the added benefit of using solar-generated power to run their unit. This daytime operation then has the attractive outcome of reducing a household dependence on electricity generated from coal.

Moreover, using excess power generated from your own rooftop alleviates stress on the electricity grid, which ultimately helps to saves consumers money by avoiding the potential need for network upgrades.

Daytime solar generation has the potential to add voltage spikes in local networks which can cause some supply issues for network operators and consumers. Likewise, when large loads turn on overnight, like a large number of electric storage hot water units, dips in voltage can occur. A growing trend to efficiently heat hot water during the day can address both the day-time and night-time voltage spikes, by using the daytime generation. Likewise, this addresses overnight dips by shifting the heating load to the daytime. A win for customers, a win for the networks and a win for emissions reductions.

Furthermore, with the capacity for devices like the Mondo Ubi to manage controlled loads and/or adopting DRED control, the future of energy efficiency is bright.