How does it work?

A heat pump works by transferring heat, not by converting electrical energy into heat. A heat pump water heater removes energy from a low temperature source (ambient air) and moves it to a high temperature hot water tank. Electricity is simply used to upgrade the quality of heat energy not to generate heat energy. The basic principle of a Heat Pump water heater is similar to a refrigerator working in reverse. When hot water is drawn off, cold water enters the tank. A thermostat then activates a fan, compressor and circulation valve. A fan draws outside air in through the air inlet at the top of the water heater and the pump circulates water from the bottom of the storage tank and through a heat exchanger. Heat is absorbed from the air by an evaporator and transferred into the water through the heat exchanger. The resulting cold air is then discharged through the air outlet back to atmosphere and the heated water is circulated back into the top of the storage tank. This process continues while ever heating is required until the water in the storage tank reaches a temperature of 65°C.
Even on cold days, heat is drawn from the surrounding air. The heat pump will operate at ambient air temperatures between 5°C and 55°C. The booster heating unit will operate when the air temperature is below 5°C, if heating is required. The efficiency of the water heater increases as the surrounding air temperature increases.

What happens if there’s no sun, or it’s the middle of winter?

You’ll always have hot water. Your new heat pump water heater is designed to provide you with all the energy efficient hot water you need 24 hours a day, 12 months a year, come rain, hail or shine.

Will I run out of hot water?

Your new heat pump system has the ability to deliver large amounts of hot water. However, as it is a storage type system, if you use all of the stored hot water in a short period, it will need approximately 4 to 5 hours to recover.

Does the refrigerant need topping up occasionally?

Like a refrigerator, your new heat pump is a sealed unit and does not require periodic ‘topping’ up.

Will the system over heat in summer?

Your new heat pump water heater is thermostatically controlled and is designed to operate at a maximum temperature of 65°C. As a consequence, the system will not overheat.

How long does it take to heat the water?

Depending on the heat of the stored water, as a general rule your new heat pump water heater will heat around 25 – 30 litres of water per hour. As such, it may take around 5.5 - 6 hours to heat the entire stored volume (170 litre model) from cold to 65°C.

Will my new heat pump be damaged by hail?

As there are no solar panels on the roof, there will be no hail damage.

What is the payback period for a heat pump?

Depending on what the comparison is being made with, i.e. the type of heater, type of tariff, the size of your family and the amount of hot water used. However, a payback period of around 5-7 years is not uncommon.

What range of tank sizes are available?

Solar Harbour is in partnership with multiple heat pump companies, we can always supply and install as per customers choice.
Few models which are popular are listed below.

1. Rheem


3.I Store

4.Eco Alliance 

How many solar panels are installed on the roof?

Midea’s range of heat pumps do not have any solar panels on the roof at all. All the ‘solar’ heating occurs at ground level through our heat pump. If we use all the hot water at night, will we have hot water in the morning? Even though your new heat pump is a ‘solar water heater’ it doesn’t require sunlight. As such, it will heat water 24 hours a day, so you’ll have hot water whenever you need it.

Can our new heat pump be installed by anyone?

Although our systems are very simple to install, they do require the expertise of plumbing and electrical trades-people. ‘Home handyman’ type installations are very dangerous and illegal in all States & Territories. Small Scale Technology Certificates are also not available in these cases. Why are heat pumps more efficient than electric or gas water heaters? A heat pump only uses electrical energy to run the compressor, not to heat the water. The heat energy actually comes from the atmosphere. This allows an efficiency of up to 400% How does taking energy from the atmosphere make it more efficient? By using only a small amount of electrical energy to run the heat pump it can transfer 3 times this value, in heat energy from the atmosphere, into the water, giving an efficiency rating above 250% As an example, 1kW of electrical energy into the heat pump can transfer up to 4kW of heat energy into the water.

Where should our new heat pump water heater be installed?

As heat pumps operate more efficiently in warm ‘humid’ areas, they can work effectively anywhere there is a good airflow of warm air. External locations such as north facing walls are a good example. They can be installed internally, as long as they’re not enclosed in small unventilated rooms, as they’ll tend to cool their surrounds as they remove the heat energy from the air.

What are the environmental benefits of a heat pump water heater?

A Midea heat pump water heater may reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 2.5 tonnes per year.

How much money will a heat pump water heater save me?

Exact dollar amounts are difficult to calculate due to the vagaries of differing usage patterns, varying electricity & gas costs and the unstable nature of weather patterns and differing locations. However as a rough rule of thumb, hot water can account for up to 30% of a household’s energy bills. A correctly sized heat pump water may reduce your hot water bills by up to 65% and even more in the Northern areas of Australia. The table below is a fairly accurate indication of ‘real world running cost comparisons over a 10 year period. Note: costs include the supply & installation costs of each system outlined.

I’m getting heat pump water heating when my current system breaks down – how soon can my new system be installed?

Hot water systems always seem to fail at the most inappropriate times, such as weekends, the middle of the night, or in the morning when you’re getting ready for work. As a consequence, customers quite often make the mistake of making a rushed decision to replace their existing water heater with another gas or electricity guzzler. The beauty of a heat pump water heater, is that it can be replaced in the same amount of time it would take to replace a standard gas or electric water heating system.

How hot will the water get?

As with all ‘storage’ type water heaters your new heat pump system will heat water to a minimum of 60 Degrees Celsius to ensure that harmful bacteria is eliminated. However, as all our solar water heaters are fitted with anti scalding valves at the time of installation, you can rest assured that the hot water delivered to your home is tempered down so it won’t exceed 50 Degrees Celsius and subsequently won’t scald. As such young children and the frail & elderly can safely operate hot water taps.

What’s the warranty of my new heat pump water heater?

Your new system is supplied with a 12 month comprehensive warranty covering all parts and labour, 3 years warranty on the heat pump unit and 5 years warranty on the hot water storage tank.

What are Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)?

Small Scale Technology Certificates, or STC’s, are utilized by large commercial users of electricity to meet stringent renewable energy targets set by the Australian Federal Government. Failure to meet these targets can result in large fines by these ‘liable parties’. As a consequence, these ‘liable parties’ need to source their STC’s from small domestic renewable energy systems such as solar water heaters and solar electricity systems. In simple terms, one Small Scale Technology Certificate or ‘STC’ represents one megawatt hour of electricity generated (or displaced) from an approved renewable energy source such as a solar hot water system. The more efficient the solar hot water system, the more STC’s it is able to generate. As a general rule, when you purchase a solar hot water system, you’re able to create up to 10 years worth of calculated STC’s upon installation. You can then gain a financial benefit from assigning your right to create STC's for your solar hot water system to reduce the purchase price of your new system. Depending on where you live, the system purchased and the value of the STC’s at the time of assigning them, you may be able to reduce the purchase price by thousands of dollars. It should be noted that the value of the STC’s does fluctuate depending on demand by the ‘liable parties’.

What are Victorian Energy Efficiency certificates & energy saving certificates?

Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEEC’s) and energy saving certificates (ESC’S) are generated in a similar manner to the Small Scale Technology Certificates, but are specific to the installation of energy efficient products in Victoria and NSW. As with STC’s, you may be able to reduce the purchase price of your new Heat Pump water heater by assigning the VEEC’s or ESC’s generated when the system is installed. Like STC’s, the value of the VEEC’s and ESC’s are highly variable.