SUN REAL Renewable Energy Systems

How solar hot water works

Our systems use long life stainless steel or copper tanks that are connected to flat plate collectors. The sun heats the water flowing through the collectors and this is stored in the tank.


These fall into two basic categories, pressurised (sometimes called mains pressure) and non-pressurised (gravity feed, constant pressure). The common upright tank is pressurised, whilst the older style ceiling mounted tanks are generally non-pressurised. All tanks are available in a variety of sizes.

Non-pressurised tanks are generally only used where a wood stove or heater is to be connected. These systems are an excellent way to produce year round hot water without electricity or gas backup. They make very good sense if you intend to have a wood fired heater or stove and are the best way to provide hot water in a home powered by a stand alone system.

Solar connections

Water from the collectors can be either pump circulated, or make use of the thermosyphon effect. The latter is preferred and this makes use of the fact that hot water will rise and be displaced by cooler water from the tank.

System types

By far the most common type is the close-coupled thermosyphon system, where the (pressurised) tank and collectors are both mounted on the roof. These generally offer the simplest installation and are used on new homes and also to replace old tanks on existing homes. We offer a complete range of systems from Beasley and Edwards that will suit most requirements.

As noted above, non-pressurised systems are generally used only where a wood stove or heater is to be connected, though they are also suitable for replacing existing ceiling mounted tanks in older homes.

Pump circulated systems allow the use of an upright tank and retro-fit collector kits are also available for existing tanks.

System costs

Prices range from around $2000 to $5000 plus installation, which varies depending on the type and location. Rebates range from $600 to $1000.