With winter and the power company threads on here, appropriate to ask for feedback.
I love our Solar HW, it was in the house we bought early last year. As well as asking questions early on, I know now, how it works for us, so keen to see what others do.
300L Cylinder, top and bottom elements, unsure what size the tube panels are. Handy LCD display showing temps for Collector, Top of cylinder, Bottom of cylinder, transfer pipe, and what % pump is in use, plus other misc boring stuff
Our elements I'm told must be wired in serial as if I turn off the bottom switch, and leave top switch on, it does not heat via the grid. I assume if I turned off the top switch and left the bottom one on, it will only use bottom element?
The data that came with it, states that its a Solar HW solution with power backup, but IMHO and from real time use, its the opposite if left to its own devices. If the Collector is 8 degrees above the bottom cylinder, it transfers. But depending on usage patterns and weather, you can end up using the grid on sunny days, when showers bring cool water into the cylinder bottom, collector is not that warm, so the shower usage is topped up by the grid. Then the sun heats up water thats now not going to be used all day. Evening showers are free as the cylinder will be hot.
In summer, I turned the grid off for 5 months. As the weather changed, its back on, but I turn it off as and when the usage and the expected sun allows it. Ive had a shower at cylinder temp of 46.7, it was fine. As long as the water doesn't sit at mid 40's for an extended period, I assume Legionnaires is not an issue. Either due to time, or that the water has been over 60 already. Most under 60 showers are not much under 60.
My conclusion is that its great, but to maximise it, you should turn the grid off when usage patterns and sun allows, even in winter. I could get a timer fitted, but our usage isn't consistent, neither is the sun (ChCh) , so manual works for me. Im not studying it anally, and the LCD panel is very handy.
How do others manage it? Set it and forget it, or manually at times?