What is the difference between Solahart PowerStore® and a heat pump water heater?

With hot water estimated to make up around 25% of a household’s energy consumption in Australia¹, a water heater option like Solahart PowerStore® or Solahart Atmos® Frost Heat Pump is a smart choice to help reduce the amount of purchased grid energy you use to heat water.

The difference between the two systems is how they produce hot water. Solahart PowerStore®, Australia’s first smart-connected electric water heater, is designed to use the excess power from your home’s solar PV panels to heat water. A heat pump is designed to use the temperature in the surrounding air to heat the water in the tank and does not require solar panels or a PV system to operate.

Solahart PowerStore® vs heat pumps: A comparison

How they work

If you have a solar power system, your panels convert energy from the sun into electricity. However, if it is not used immediately, this energy is sent back to the grid for little or no return or, in some states, it’s lost altogether. To solve this problem, Solahart developed the revolutionary PowerStore.

Solahart PowerStore® stores energy like a battery but in the form of hot water. It comes with a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) that intelligently looks at your home’s energy consumption and uses the excess solar produced from your rooftop solar system to heat water. 

A heat pump is an excellent alternative as a renewable source of hot water when your roof is not suitable for solar. Heat pumps work like a reverse cycle air conditioner on heating mode, generating hot water by drawing energy from the surrounding air, and transferring this heat to the water in your storage tank.


Solahart PowerStore® uses advanced temperature sensing technology, a two-stage heating process, and triple-blade heating units to maximise the amount of water that is heated with available excess solar energy. Solahart HEMS is the “brain” that uses AI to better understand your hot water usage patterns, solar energy production, energy plan, and weather forecasts to choose the right time to heat your water at the lowest cost. You also have access to the Solahart atHome web app to easily monitor your system’s daily energy production and analyse its performance from your smart device. Find out more here.

Solahart Atmos® Frost Heat Pump uses micro-channel heat exchanger technology, which provides a larger contact area for faster, more efficient water heating when compared to a traditional electric system. It has a 2.4kW backup heating element to ensure a reliable hot water supply even in very cold conditions. Also, it has a user-friendly touchscreen LED display with a range of features, including usable hot water quantity, water temperature display and manual electric heating mode for emergency hot water.

Want to learn more about heat pumps? Check out our dedicated article here



Solahart PowerStore® is an efficient replacement for an electric or gas water heater, especially if you want to maximise the use of the electricity you produce from your rooftop solar panels. It can be installed either indoors or outdoors.

A heat pump is an easy replacement for a conventional electric water heater, as it often can be hooked up to your existing plumbing and electrical connections. This type of water heater can only be installed outdoors as it draws energy from the surrounding air.

Efficiency and savings

Combining Solahart PowerStore with a solar power system could save you up to $1,760 per year on your energy bills when replacing an electric water heater.² 

Solahart Atmos® Frost Heat Pump has an average Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 4.5.³ This means the heat pump supplies 4.5 times as much heat energy to the system as it consumes in electricity. Also, you could save up to 73% on your hot water energy consumption if you replace your electric water heater with an Atmos-Frost heat pump.⁴

How much money you could save depends on your climate, your hot water usage patterns, and the system you are replacing. Solahart offers a free home assessment to better understand your needs and provide you with the right solution for your home and budget.

Government incentives

Solahart PowerStore® is not currently eligible for government incentives. But, if you purchase it together with a solar power system, you can tap into the Federal Government’s Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) incentive, which is available for solar PV installations in every state in Australia. The financial value of the STCs can be used as a discount on the up-front cost of your purchase.

A heat pump is eligible for STCs as a standalone water heater. You may also be eligible for an additional incentive in NSW, VIC and SA.

Before you make your decision… 

Factors you should consider before choosing the right water heater for your home include:

  1. Do you have an existing solar power system?
  2. Is your home suitable for solar power in the future?
  3. The number of people in your home, and
  4. Your local climate. Solahart PowerStore® needs to operate in conjunction with a solar power system, so the sunnier the weather, the more your water is heated by the sun. On the other hand, heat pumps can operate in various conditions, with Solahart Atmos® Frost Heat Pump capable of delivering hot water in temperatures ranging from -5ᵒC to 43ᵒC.⁵

Contact your local Solahart Dealer to organise a free in-home assessment to discuss the best ways to save on your energy bills. 

Want to save on your hot water energy use?

Speak to Solahart today to find out more. You can call 1300 721 984 or contact us via the form below.

The following errors were found:


  1. https://www.energy.gov.au/households/quick-wins/
  1. Solahart Solar Index report: https://www.solahart.com.au/landing-pages/the-solar-index-report/
  1. Testing condition: 19°C/15°C (Dry bulb/Wet bulb), relative humidity of 66% and heating water from 15°C to 60°C.
  1. Energy savings of up to 73% shown is based on Australian Government approved TRNSYS simulation modelling of a Solahart Atmos 325HAV heat pump and using a medium load in Zone 3 and apply when replacing an electric water heater. Any savings will vary depending upon your location, type of Solahart system installed, orientation and inclination of the solar collectors, type of water heater being replaced, hot water consumption and fuel tariff. Maximum financial savings off your hot water bill are achievable when replacing an electric water heater on continuous tariff.
  1. The specified -5˚C to 43˚C temperature range is the operational range of the Heat Pump. The electric element activates when the ambient air temperature is outside this range and heating of the water is required.