Solar H2-oooohhh

Renovations are all about upgrades, whether its a new paint color or a fresh counter top. Here at 10 Arawa Place, we have just gone through a major upgrade – the installation of a new solar hot water system. After Nelson tossed out the old tank, we have been heating our hot water in wine bottles placed in a box with a glass cover. While the temperature of the water in the wine bottles has been reaching 40 degrees Celsius, we only have enough space in the box for just under five liters. All you minimalists out there are cheering right now, but after a hard days work it’s just not enough water to get the grime out. Especially now that there are four of us living in the house.

Step in Allan and his AT Solar hot water system. This roof mounted device uses glycol filled evacuated glass tubes to collect and transfer the suns heat energy into the 240 liter tank above. 240 liters delivered at fifty degrees Celsius! whooohooo! Although the system represents a significant investment, it is delivering an ample amount of hot water at a fixed price, relieving worries about energy price fluctuations, lowering the monthly electric bill, and it is a great example of a green technology at work.

Conveniently Dani and Nelson were both in town all day on the day the system arrived and had to be mounted on the roof. Luckily I was around to hold down the fort. After several failed attempts of climbing up onto the roof with the delicate system perched on our shoulders (picture attempting the most difficult rock climbing move you can image, synchronized with a Kiwi bloke on a ladder 2 m away, while carrying a mildy heavy majorly awkward object), Allan decided to call on a buddy. This buddy arrived with a pair of stumpies and a mini-crane. By the time Dani and Nelson arrived home everything was under control.

Putting together an entire solar system? No sweat. Just another day in the life of an intern.

-John the Intern

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