QTM - Quantum Energy - Aussie Stock Forums

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  1. #1

    Default Solar Hot Water QTM

    The Queensland Government is reported to be considering a requirement that all new houses be fitted with non-electric hot water systems. The reason is to reduce greenhoue gas emissions.

    Eligible technologies include solar (gas or electric boost), gas hot water systems, heat pumps etc.

    Over 60% of Australian homes have electric hot water, the most emissions intensive option. This figure is in the order of 80% in Queensland. All of the other state governments are becoming increasingly active on the greenhouse issue in recent months with the recent trend being for most states to have similar policies on greenhouse matters, particularly those relating to renewable energy.

    Focusing purely on fundamentals and the engineering aspects and hoping this eventually might translate to the share price, QTM (Quantum Energy) is a major potential winner from moves to reduce emissions.

    QTM makes heat pump water heaters (considered to be solar by governments) that save 60-80% (typical average 70-75%) of electricity use under all operating conditions. They will even heat in the middle of the night with snow on the roof with NO need for any kind of boosting. (Even under this worst case scenario they are still heating the water with around 60% "free" heat.) The system extracts heat from rain, snow, air, sun - whatever surrounds the outdoor panels.

    The small amounts of electricity used can be supplied at either continuous (standard) or cheap off-peak rates with the system storing heated water just like a conventional electric water heater. This system thus has a considerable advantage over conventional solar technologies since there is far less need for storage tanks in high volume use applications (commercial) where solar is often impractical for this reason.

    Physical size of the units is about the same width as a conventional off-peak electric hot water service but a bit taller. The outdoor panels go anywhere (even on the wall) and can face any direction since direct sunlight is not essential (though of course it's better to get direct sun if possible). As for aesthetics, the panels come in various colours and tank goes somewhere convenient on the ground, under the building etc. The system is practical to install in most buildings.

    Cost is in the order of $3000 installed for a household system (much less when the various government rebates are included). The company also has significant export sales. Major installations include the Grand Chancellor Hotel (Hobart) and numerous public buildings, Department of Housing properties, resorts etc. around Australia and overseas.

    In the case of commercial systems, rebates available to the consumer are now in the order of 80% of the purchase price.

    Disclosure: I do not hold this stock at the time of posting. My knowledge of QTM is the technical aspects of the product and its competitors NOT financials of the business. The technology is regarded as well proven, is in production, and is not subject to development risks. Judge for yourself if it suits you but most certainly NOT a short term trade. Speculative depending partly on policy.

    You could also take advantage of government proposals (if they eventuate) by investing in other solar hot water companies, domestic geothermal energy companies (there are practical household / commercial geothermal heat pump systems although they are not yet common) and to some extent gas distribution too.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Solar Hot Water QTM

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf1976
    The small amounts of electricity used
    Just a note on the technical side of things, a heat pump is the most efficient way of 'converting' electricity to heat. Basically, rather than putting electricity through a resistive element to generate heat (100% efficient), as smurf says you pump heat from one location to another - this is exactly what your airconditioner and fridge do.

    However the amounts of electricity are not "small". I would guess the efficiency to be 150%-200% so you still will be using at least 50% of the electriciy. And before you ask, no, this isn't a violation of the 'energy cannot be created nor destroyed' principle, and no, you cannot make any sort of perpetual engine with this. Look up 'Carnot cycle' for more info.

    Still, very good product if gas is unavailable. Think of the electricity savings.

  3. #3
    Hatchet Moderator doctorj's Avatar
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    Jan 2005

    Default Re: Solar Hot Water QTM

    Streaks of an old physics buff there eh Mark? For a second there I thought I was a fresher all over again.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Solar Hot Water QTM

    Quote Originally Posted by markrmau
    However the amounts of electricity are not "small". I would guess the efficiency to be 150%-200% so you still will be using at least 50% of the electriciy.
    For the technically minded, the evaporator (cold side of a refrigeration system) in this case is in the form of, for the standard 270 litre model, a 3*2 metre aluminium "solar panel" (in three sections to facilitate simpler installation) which ideally sits in the sun on the roof.

    As such the system is correctly described as a solar boosted heat pump. According to data supplied by the company, Efficiency in full sun on a hot day (ideal conditions) = around 500%. Efficiency at zero degrees in the dark = around 200%.

    Actual efficiency will depend on usage and climate but 300% is the generally accepted efficiency for heat pumps as a heat source in Hobart. (Air conditioning is now generally regarded as the preferred method of heating in Tasmania due to the efficiency of modern units.) The efficiency of the Quantum water heater ought to be comparable and the Tasmanian electricity industry (both the technical rules for electricians and consumer energy information) consider that the system is about 300% efficient (on average).

    Efficiency in Queensland or NSW ought to be similar given the differences in climate (positive) and off-peak electricity supply hours (negative) compared to Tasmania.

    Point here on ASF is they might sell a lot of them if the government changes the rules about energy use. Possible long term investment if you don't mind the risk.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Solar Hot Water QTM

    Regardless of technicals, surely the massive number of QTM shares held in escrow would scare off most potential investors, save for the ramping explosion shortly after listing? Michael West from The Australian wrote a very good piece for those interested in searching back.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't; you are right.

  6. #6

    Default Re: QTM - Quantum Energy

    I ask this, on the understanding that there is no such thing as a Dumb Question (at least that is what I tell my kids): If a heat pump works like a fridge / freezer in reverse, then could Heating be combined, use the heat extracted from the fridge to (partially) heat water or home or whatever...?
    I know fridges and heating are up with the biggest power costs in households.

  7. #7

    Default Re: QTM - Quantum Energy

    Quote Originally Posted by jbocker View Post
    I ask this, on the understanding that there is no such thing as a Dumb Question (at least that is what I tell my kids): If a heat pump works like a fridge / freezer in reverse, then could Heating be combined, use the heat extracted from the fridge to (partially) heat water or home or whatever...?
    Technically very doable. All refrigeration systems (and your air-conditioner or a heat pump water heater is simply a refrigeration system) have both a hot and a cold side. They extract heat from one side (cold) and dump it into the other (hot).

    So your fridge has a hot side. It's either metal pipes at the back or is located under the casing. Feel the fridge when it's running - it will be warm somewhere and this heat has come from inside the fridge itself.

    Same with an air-conditioner. Go outside on a hot day and it's blowing hot air (hotter than the ambient temperature) outside in order to produce cool air for inside. Reverse that when it's in heating mode.

    And a heat pump water heater blows out cold air in order to produce heat for the water.

    Any of this could be combined in a technical sense but the costs of piping etc may make it uneconomic. The Quantum systems are often installed in commercial situations so as to provide a cooling (for the building) benefit from the cold side of the water heating process. Obviously that approach makes more sense in, say, Darwin than it would in Hobart.

    All very doable technically but the question is the cost. By the way, these water heaters are starting to become quite common now with many companies having entered the market. It's gone from a niche product that few had even heard of 10 years ago to the point where just about every plumbing store sells them now, even some of the consumer stores like Retravision etc are getting into it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: QTM - Quantum Energy

    Thanks Smurf.
    I noticed that QTM has had a very nice run of late. Had been watching this for a while, I recall it getting down to ~0.03, but went I for cfu instead. I couldnt understand what ultimate effect the court case with Philips would have on QTM. I see that QTM has won the case. It is making money, I wonder how far it could go?
    cheers JB
    A lacky-band gun removed from an algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

  9. #9

    Default Re: QTM - Quantum Energy

    Gday am a newbie here but well seasoned (and burnt) investor..
    I have also been watching QTM for some time as I am an investor interested in Engineering, Environment and Medical which QTM covers. I think the company is onto a great thing and could potentially be a great success story.
    To tell you the truth I wish I got in at 12c but I didn't and now they are at 31c and are starting to report some tidy earnings with potentially more to come.. Am a little unsure to jump in now though as it has ramped up significantly in the last month and could be due for some profit taking.
    Im watching it close..

  10. #10

    Default Re: QTM - Quantum Energy

    Hi Ajalee,

    This stock depends very heavily on the government subsidery for people who buy QTm product, if the fed government withdraw it, which recently happened with solar power then the stock will tumble.

    High risk high reward

  11. #11

    Default Re: QTM - Quantum Energy

    Hi urgalzmine,

    good point and definitely something to consider. My understanding is that the majority of their sales revenues are O/S at this stage, particularly in China.
    There is definitely risk there too i guess.. Its certainly a speculative one!

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