By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Water heating specialist Vulcan has released the Vulcan VS160, an innovative new gas-boosted solar water heater that features an electronically controlled frost protection system and complies with environmental regulations in each state.

“Frost conditions can cause damage to solar collectors,” explained Vulcan product manager, Ben Murphy.

“Some expensive systems use freeze resistant, glycol based heat exchange designs to overcome this risk, while many other systems use unreliable, mechanical ‘frost valves’ to dump water from the collectors to prevent freezing. These valves however often seize in frost conditions.

“The Vulcan VS160 incorporates an exclusive electronic frost protection system, which by maintaining a reservoir of warm water for circulation, provides excellent protection in frost conditions. This system is so clever, it has a patent pending!”

The VS160 features a 160 litre ground-mounted solar storage tank, with a key differentiator being its single two square metre roof-mounted collector. This high performance collector features a titanium enriched, selective surface to better absorb and retain solar energy than other systems, which require two collectors or one oversized collector.

“The VS160’s compact dimensions also make this solution lighter to handle, easier to locate and install — and they ensure an aesthetically pleasing roofline,” said Murphy.

Additional features of the Vulcan VS160 include a factory integrated pump, electronic controller and a five star energy rated continuous flow gas booster, which is mounted on the tank using two existing fittings. The base model is supplied with an 18 litre per minute gas booster, which features smart software that senses the temperature of the water and only turns on to heat water below 60°C to ensure economical performance, as the water is ‘pre-heated’ by the sun’s energy. The gas booster can be upgraded to a larger size for growing families or larger households.

“Gas boosted solar is a ‘clean’ solution,” Murphy said. “The environmental benefits of heating water using the sun’s ‘free’ energy are undisputed, as it displaces the need to produce electricity which contributes to the production of greenhouse gas emissions. But while many of these systems provide economical running costs, most carry a premium price tag.

“Not only is the Vulcan VS160 affordable, it also complies with the unique environmental regulations in each state.”

The Vulcan VS160 is eligible for renewable energy certificates (RECs) under the Federal Government’s REC program.