There is significant policy momentum in Australia to reduce reliance on fossil fuels for energy production, with most States and Territories committing to emission-reduction targets.
Across his decades of experience in the heating and energy industries, Jon Palfrey has never witnessed a time like the present. Kathryn Kernohan reports.
“The current state of the commercial and residential water heating market is at its most pivotal and interesting that I’ve experienced in my career, with a significant shift towards carbon emission reduction and renewable energy,” Jon Palfrey Commercial Manager of Thermal Energy Solutions says.
Thermal Energy Solutions designs and manufactures high-efficiency heating solutions utilising energy from several sources including grid electricity, gas, solar PV and heat pump.
The business’ systems utilise the innovative heat exchange tank ENERMAX, which has stainless steel exchange coils to heat water for consumption and the capability to heat water to as high as 85°C.
“Two years ago, the majority of systems that Thermal Energy Solutions was designing were predominately energized by natural gas. The shift towards emission reduction has seen our range evolve to meet this trend - our SmartCube tanks provide a primary energy source that is off-grid,” says Jon.
“We have other components in our range that can control solar energy yield and distribute it into our thermal batteries in tanks, which the industry is now recognising as being pivotal in the shift away from the traditional energy source of natural gas.”
The business works with residential and commercial clients including new and existing hospitals, residential towers and commercial towers such as 101 Collins Street and 222 Exhibition Street.
Jon says clients are attracted by both the energy reduction benefits and the cost saving. As an example, a four-bedroom home in NSW self-generated 2,281kWh of electricity in 12 months using the 300L ENERMAX SMARTcube.
Over a 12-month period the residents spent just $59 on AC electric boost-backup from the grid.
“Whenever the cost of energy can be reduced, it’s always an advantage. The people involved in the purchase of plant equipment are always going to be looking at a bottom line result. But even the financial controllers are identifying that this isn’t just a bottom line decision - this is far greater reaching.
“We are all about energy efficiency, energy reduction, clean energy, carbon reduction and cost reduction. We’re excited by the fact that we can visually see solar kilowatt input via DC current, that can be established on a screen to the hour, to the minute, showing what is being achieved, which gives people proof of the end result of the system operation.”
Jon believes that plumbers have always been at the forefront of sustainability, and will continue to play a critical role in Australia’s push towards net zero emissions by 2050.
“Plumbers have always been focused on water saving and energy reduction, introducing products into the market that meet the needs and expectations of their clients.”
“Thermal Energy Solutions is training at TAFEs throughout Australia to educate plumbers, apprentices and plumbing lecturers on new technologies. So, when they’re confronted in the field or discussing something with a client, they can say that they have the confidence and the knowledge of the new energy expectations of everyday Australians.”