Technical information for solar installers, including the Plumbers' Journal technical series.
Hot water is one of the biggest users of household energy. It accounts for between 30% and 45% of total household energy use. A solar water heating system can provide homeowners with 50% to 75% of their yearly hot water needs, cutting annual power bills.
Solar installers need to be aware of the following compliance issues:
Acceptable Solution G12/AS2 sets out what a solar water heater installer has to do to comply with the Building Code.
It specifies one way to achieve compliance with all relevant Building Code clauses in a single document and simplifies the consent process, allowing consents to be processed more quickly.
While G12/AS2 it makes it easier to design a solar water heating installation, it is limited in its application. It covers installations where panels are up to 4 m2 in area and weigh no more than 22 kg/m2. The design allows for wind speeds up to 50 m/s (180 km/h) and applies only where the roof pitch is less than 45°. If the installation does not meet these criteria, the building consent authority will require a detailed structural design to be undertaken.
G12/AS2 can be downloaded free from the DBH website within the G12 Compliance Document.
As part of the Acceptable Solution for compliance, installers must ensure the purchaser of the solar water heating system is satisfied with the system.
To do this, the supplier/installer should:
A building consent is required for solar water heating system installations. The system installer needs to demonstrate that the installation will meet the NZ Building Code. The Code establishes the standards for installation, particularly for safe loading on roofs and safe supply of potable water.
System suppliers may provide pre-prepared, supporting documentation to accompany a consent application. This should include acceptable structural support arrangements for the specific system models.
Acceptable Solution G12/AS2 sets out the requirements and standards for most solar water heating installations that, if followed, will facilitate the consent process. This applies to installations where the tank is not on the roof.
A number of councils are committed to zero consent fees for solar water heating in a bid to encourage homeowners to install solar water heating.
Solar water heating installers need to be aware of the following Standards.
Master Plumbers members can purchase relevant online Standards at discounted prices through the Standards New Zealand Online Library Essentials catalogues.
Energywise grants for solar water heating have come to an end.
Templates you may wish to use or modify for your solar water heating business.
NZ Plumbers' Journal features a series on solar water heating installations, by Ian Sumner of EcoSolar, Energy Conscious Design and Splash Monitoring and Adrian Kerr of the Solar Association of New Zealand. Click on the links below to download the articles.
General articles on solar water heating that have appeared in Plumbers' Journal.