Intelligent Solar Heater Management using Weather Information from the Bureau
Irrespective of what type of solar heater you have, it is important to note that while the heating energy from the sun is free, the cost of collecting that energy from the roof is not.
Most customers must run a (large) pump to circulate the water to the roof to collect the sun’s energy, especially if it is a high roof. Even more, if you are on Time-of-Use Electricity, you must run the solar system during the expensive shoulder and peak tariff periods. If you have a Time-of-Use meter, you will be paying peak rates to run your solar system after 1 pm or 2 pm , weekdays, depending on where you live.
Lastly, if the solar pump is connected in series with the filter pump (a common configuration), you typically have to run the filter pump during these expensive periods to supply water to the solar pump in case it needs to run. If you are using a time-clock to control the filter, this wastes considerable cost on rainy and overcast days when expensive daytime running is not required
For this, Pooled Energy offers optional Intelligent Solar Heater Optimisation using weather data. In addition, Pooled Energy’s Intelligent Pool Controller synchronises and controls the operation of both the filter and solar pumps for efficient pumping. It filters efficiently at low power until required to speed up to provide additional water to the solar heater booster pump.
While some solar heater controllers can sense the temperature in the panels on the roof, others have sensors located down by the filter pump. These often run the solar pump for a couple of minutes to cycle the water up to the roof and so bring back regular temperature samples. The energy and cost of doing this adds up surprisingly quickly. Standard solar heater controllers also operate on marginal or rainy days. They don’t ‘know’ about the weather in the more general sense. The Pooled Energy system does know the weather (by suburb) and is more efficient. It does not require water temperature samples from the roof and so it saves you unnecessary pump operation.
Pooled Energy uses Weather Bureau and other information via the Internet to provide Intelligent Solar Heater Optimisation. Simplistically, it manages the times when your solar heater runs to give you a sensible balance between heating your pool and the cost of running the solar and filter pumps.