Compare HotSpot Heat Recovery to Solar Water Heating
We love solar water heating, but we consider heat recovery to be an often superior alternative to solar water heating in certain applications. HotSpot will usually cost less, have higher capacity, and can be installed in locations where solar is not a good fit. So if you decide against solar, consider heat recovery.
■ Lower initial cost.
A turnkey installed HotSpot system will cost much less than a turnkey installed solar water heating system with the same or lower capacity.
■ Can produce more hot water than solar.
HotSpot can produce up to 65,000 BTU per day per ton of AC or compressor capacity. It takes about 34,000 BTU per day to heat 80 gallons of hot water.
■ HotSpot works when its raining, or cloudy, and it works at night.
Heat recovery does not depend on the sun and works whenever the air conditioner is running.
■ Avoids the problems and limitations of solar panels attached to your roof.
Needs no roof space.
Heat recovery cannot cause roof leaks, void a roof warranty, or increase the cost of roof replacement or repair since there is nothing that must be removed and reinstalled.
No landlord issues or permission needed for installation. No additional insurance costs.
No zoning or HOA issues with HotSpot.
No worries about shade or sun angle.
■ HotSpot helps refrigeration compressors run more efficiently.
HotSpot unit reduces the load on the compressor, creates electrical savings, and extends the life of the system. On the other hand, when you don't use an air conditioner at least 3-4 hours per day, HotSpot may not keep up with your needs.
■ Maintenance free.
No electronics to fail, no required annual maintenance, no glycol or freezing issues, no overheating concerns, no panel cleaning or debris removal. Reduced maintenance on air conditioning or refrigeration system.
■ Hurricane proof.
No matter how hard the wind blows, the HotSpot system will not be blown off of the roof ;-)
■ Where can you use it?
For homeowners, HotSpot usually works out best in climates where air conditioners are used more heavily. In sunny climates standard solar collectors will work year round, and when using evacuated tube collectors even the far northern areas can experience good solar results. For homeowners, HotSpot usually works out best in climates where the air conditioning season is 7-8 months or longer each year. In northern areas, evacuated tube thermal collectors are a good choice. Regardless of location, commercial customers with large coolers, freezers etc., will find that HotSpot is a perfect year round solution.
■ A strong investment, HotSpot can pay for itself faster than solar.
See commercial example below for a restaurant or grocery store application where a large compressor and a high demand for hot water coincide. Payback 3x faster than solar thermal and 9x faster than solar PV with no tax credits needed. Below examples based on offsetting electric water heating costs and $.10 kWh cost.
Example #1 w/ Heat Recovery:
A HotSpot heat recovery system and tank installed on an 8 ton walk-in cooler/freezer,
produces 360,000 BTU /day and saves 40,000 kWh in paid electricity, saves $4000 per year
compared to an electric water heater.
Cost (installed) ~$5000, no tax credits needed.
Rate of Return On Investment = 80%
Pay Back = 1.25 years
Example #1 w/ Solar Water Heating:
Same capacity - 10 x SPP30 or equivalent solar thermal system, tank, system, etc. ,
(360,000) BTU/day and saves 40,000 kWh in paid electricity, saves $4000 per year
compared to an electric water heater.
Cost (installed) ~$17,000 after 30% tax credits deducted.
Rate of Return On Investment = 23.5%
Pay Back = 4.25 years
Example #1 w/ Solar Photovoltaic:
18 kW Solar PV system
produces 40,000 kWh free electricity per year, saves $4000 per year
providing electricity to an electric water heater.
Cost (installed) ~$40,000 after 30% tax credit deducted.
Rate of Return On Investment = 10%
Pay Back = 10 years
Example #1 w/ No Renewable Energy:
Electric water heater, consumes 40,000 kWh paid electricity per year.
Cost (installed) ~$0
Return On Investment = 0%
Pay Back = 0 years
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