Solar Water Heating – what, where, why?


Solsquare use high quality Conergy tanks.

What is Solar Water Heating?

Solar hot water refers to the use of the sun’s energy to heat water for household and industrial use. Solar water heating systems generally consist of the following components:

  1. A solar collector
  2. A storage vessel
  3. A heat exchange fluid in the case of indirect systems*
  4. A pump in the case of an active system*

Southern Africa has an ideal climate for the use of solar water heaters and, given that the heating of water is the biggest single consumer of electricity for the average household and thus contributes to the bulk of the electricity bill (up to 50%), the installation of a solar water heating system can go a long way towards saving the homeowner money and alleviating the strain on the electricity supply in the region.

Traditionally, flat-plate solar collectors have consisted of a simple glass-topped, insulated box with a flat absorber made of metal and attached to copper pipes. The copper is painted black to maximise the amount of sun’s energy absorbed. Another type of collector is the evacuated tube collector consisting of metal pipes surrounded by glass cylinder that houses a vacuum. This type of collector is very efficient at capturing the sun’s energy. Both flat-plate and evacuated tube systems work well in South African conditions.

How to decide on a supplier?

You are strongly advised to install a system that is on the Eskom list [we supply Solsquare solar geysers; find the various Solsquare products on the list] of approved suppliers as well as being a SESSA Solar Water Heating Division member.  Not only could you qualify for a rebate, but Eskom will check on the installation to ensure it has been done correctly. If you decide to buy a system that is not yet on the Eskom list (some suppliers are still in the process of testing at the SABS), you must look at the track record of the product, and talk to several owners of the system.

Besides cost savings, what are the other benefits of solar water heating?

In today’s beleaguered world, installing a SWH is simply the right thing to do. A domestic SWH with a two square metre collector could harvest up to 2,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy from the sun every year. By displacing the Eskom electricity that would otherwise have been used to heat the water, 1,080 kg of coal and 2,800 litres of water are saved, while 1,956 kg of Carbon Dioxide, 320 kg of ash, 17.9 kg of Sulphur Dioxide and 8.4 kg of Nitrous Oxide are not discharged to add to the Planet’s growing burden of pollution. That’s an important gift to the Earth for any good citizen to consider!

Source: Sustainable Energy Society Southern Africa

Sustainable living revolves around to major factors: how we utilize our water resources and where we obtain our energy from.  We have the solution to minimizing your carbon footprint and living sustainably: Water Rhapsody water conservation systems and Yes Solar solar solutions.  Our  WWF Award-winning water systems include rainwater harvesting systems, grey water recycling systems, water-saving toilet flush mechanisms, swimming pool backwash recycling and water tanks (see our product demo).  Water Scarcity is a reality in South Africa; save water! Yes Solar supplies Eskom-approved Solsquare solar geysers that currently have one of the highest Eskom rebate ratings on the South African market.  Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a water system, solar geyser or JoJo water tank.

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