Solar hot water system, model 181L, glass / steel / plastic, Solahart Industries Pty Ltd, Australia, 2001
This hot water system is an example of the most popular model range produced by Perth-based firm, Solahart Industries Pty Ltd. The company is the world's leading manufacturer of solar hot water systems for residential and commercial applications. With world attention focused on the potential of greenhouse gases to cause climate change, there is enormous interest from government, corporations and individuals in playing a part in expanding the solar energy industry. Solahart claims that the electricity saved by a family of four, using a Solahart hot water system, can reduce the amount of CO2 released into the air by more than 3 tonnes per year.
The idea of using solar energy for water heating has been around for a long time. Commercial systems were available in the late nineteenth century. Advances by the CSIRO (led by Roger Morse and Wal Read) in the 1950s made Australian systems about 20% more efficient than other solar hot water systems. The Korwill solar hot water system was adopted by the Solahart firm in 1953. It operates on the 'thermosyphon' principle where water passes through the solar collector panels and, after being heated by solar radiation, rises to the insulated storage cylinder.
The Solahart company had its beginnings in Perth, WA, in 1901 when two plumbers formed a company known as S W Hart & Co, Plumbers and Ironworkers. They commenced business in galvanising and sheet metal fabrication, manufacturing tanks, baths, sinks, tubs and buckets. In 1935 Hart became a corporation and continued as S W Hart & Co Pty Ltd, adding manufacture of water heaters to its operations. In 1953 the company made its first solar hot water system. Today the firm employs over 12,000 people world-wide, while the Western Australian plant at Welshpool covers 12 acres and includes the factory, state sales, national warehouse, and research and development facilities. The manufacturing process involves fabrication of metal products through a combination of stages including pressing, welding, shot blasting, enamelling, plating, testing and packaging.
Since 1978 dealers appointed by Solahart have installed Solahart products in over 70 countries. An export dedications award and an export enterprise award have been presented to Solahart by Government bodies within Australia.
The device was made by Solahart in Western Australia in 2001.