What if there was a way to significantly reduce your electricity bill and still enjoy those hot showers? With a solar powered water heater, you can do just that. More and more people are choosing solar water heaters because of their cost-effectiveness.
“It’s a worthwhile investment, once you have a solar water heater it will significantly reduce your electricity bill expenses,” explains Gonzaga Kayigwa, Engineer at Ultra Green Volt Power Limited, the manufacturer and installer of solar water heaters. Another economic advantage of solar water heaters is that they do not require solar panels, you buy them as a single piece.
They are also durable and with easy maintenance, they can be opened and cleaned.
A solar water heater consists of a tank and attached solar vacuum tubes. The tank has an inlet where cold water flowing from a reservoir water tank flows in and an outlet through which the hot water is delivered into the home’s plumbing.
According to Kayigwa, the cold water in the hot water tank is heated by hot steam pouring out of the solar tubes attached to it. When cold water flows from the storage tank into the solar water heater, some of the cold water flows into the solar tubes, which then boil it to boiling point, forming hot steam that rises back into the tank and heats up the rest of the water.
“Hot water is scientifically less dense than cold water, more simply put, as cold water heats up it becomes lighter, which is why whenever cold water flows from the buffer tank into the solar water heater, the hot water is heated by steam coming out whirled up by the solar tubes, rises and settles over the inflowing cold water. That’s the water that flows when you turn on the faucet in the shower,” says Kayigwa.
Each type of solar water heater works best in different environments. Direct systems work best in areas that do not experience freezing temperatures often. In cold climates, indirectly active systems are more resistant to frost damage.
Do you want your solar system to do double duty? Invest in an indirect circulation system. The heating fluid can be diverted to heat your pool or spa in between to provide heated water to your home.
Families that use more hot water during the day benefit from integrated passive systems. By producing multiple small batches of heated water, family members no longer have to worry about not having enough hot water for their morning shower.
If you have less floor space, opt for a thermosyphon solar water heater that can be mounted on your roof and give you more space in your living area.
Solar water heaters fall into two broad categories: passive and active. The main difference between the two is that active systems require circulation pumps to move water and passive systems rely on gravity to move water. Active systems also require electricity to operate and can use antifreeze as the heat exchange fluid.
According to Kayigwa, their water heaters come in 100 liter, 150 liter, 250 liter and 300 liter capacity. “The best way to figure out what capacity you need is based on how many people will be using it. 100 liters is enough for residential use, while commercial facilities need larger heaters,” he says. Prices range from Shs 1.7m to Shs 4.8m depending on the size of the water heater.
Additional coverage from: solarreviews.com