Solar an alternative water heating source

Kwikot (Pty) Ltd Lionel Schultz, marketing manager and Herman Weber, technical director, explains how solar energy satisfies the SANS 10500 XA regulation that all new buildings must have and is an alternative source for water heating of 50% than conventional element geysers.

When it comes to alternative water heating sources to the conventional electric geyser, solar is perceived as free energy and the most popular choice where the site can accommodate a solar system – bearing in mind that a storage vessel with electrical back up is still required to heat water during adverse weather.

Schultz explains the operating principles involved, “In terms of approved technologies, we refer here specifically to thermal solar heating systems where solar energy is collected on the roof and transferred to a fluid in a collector and then transferred to a storage tank for later use.”

Solar selection implies that there is sufficient installation area, north facing and at the correct angle of inclination for collection of solar radiation. This is not always achievable and alternatives like heat pumps may be considered (see March 2018 issue of Plumbing Africa about alternatives).

Indirect system 300ℓ frost free with panelDirect system 200ℓ frost free with panelDirect system 150ℓ frost and frost free with 16 tubes

The correct functioning of solar systems hinges on the quality of the installation, Schultz emphasises. Poorly or incorrectly installed systems or wrongly selected technologies may lead to high maintenance costs, as well as extensive re-installation costs. This is overcome with proper training of installers.

The capital costs for renewable energy for domestic applications when comparing solar and heat pumps is very similar. The decision on which technology is determined by consumers’ preference and the suitability of the site for the chosen technology.

*Images credit: Kwikot


 

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