Australian Wind and Solar (AWS) is readying for the release of its new solar diverter model – the SunMate 3.0.
According to the Australian Government’s YourHome, water heating is the second largest segment of household energy use in Australia, after space heating and cooling.
If you already have a solar power system and electric water heater installed, a solar diverter could help to cut this cost. It’s device that enables you to reroute surplus power from a solar system for this purpose without needing to change the hot water system. In a situation where surplus power isn’t available; your water continues to be heated from energy from the mains grid as normal.
SQ’s Ronald provided some valuable information on solar diverters here, and goes into detail on some of the devices currently available in Australia that can also be found on our solar hot water diverter comparison table. One of the brands mentioned in both is SunMate, manufactured in Victoria.
SunMate 3.0 Due In March 2020
AWS contacted us last week to let us know the new SunMate model is due for release in March next year. If you’re considering a solar diverter in the near future, the SunMate 3.0 might be worth a look.
“The key objectives of the project have been to redevelop and advance the SunMate for current Australian conditions, manufacture the new SunMate PCB and a weather-proof housing unit that is easy to install,” says AWS.
AWS says other new features in SunMate 3.0 are:
- It’s wireless ready.
- It has an app interface.
- It has 3 outputs – each can be configured for variable or threshold power (the current version has 2 outputs).
- It offers temperature sensor or thermostat operation.
Variable Power? Threshold Power?
The variable power mode is for water heating (100W – 3600W – to be confirmed) while threshold mode control is for appliance control; i.e. non-heating appliances – but you’d need to be careful what is hooked up to it given the intermittent nature of the power provided.
Solar Diverter Savings And Cost
The AWS web site is still claiming a 4 person family with a 4kW solar power system can expect savings of nearly $400 per year using the current model, SunMate 2.0 – a claim Ronald questioned in his review back in 2017.
As for the cost of the SunMate 3.0 solar hot water diverter, that hasn’t been provided, but the 2.0 is around $850 for the single phase model and $1,250 for the three-phase; plus installation.
AWS isn’t expecting to be cranking out huge volumes of the new diverters – the estimated number of SunMate 3.0’s produced “will grow to 1,000 units per annum”. Still, it’s nice to see solar components being manufactured here in Australia.
You can learn more about SunMate here, but bear in mind what you’ll see on AWS’s site at the moment is information about the current model diverter – SunMate 2.0.