Considerations before deciding on a Solar Geyser

Selecting the correct type of solar geyser for your needs will ensure maximum savings on your energy bill and maximum return on your investment. Solar geyser options include three basic varieties:

1. Direct Solar Geysers

Direct solar geyser systems usually consist of one or more solar panels or evacuated tubes. Water is pumped into the panels, where it gets heated by the sun and stored in a geyser. Although this type of geyser system is reasonably effective, they tend to have a shorter life span. Chemicals in water erode the panels, pipes and tank and parts need to be replaced fairly often. The water in the tank can also freeze in colder weather, resulting in cold water and also damage to the geyser and entire heating system.

Areas in South Africa that are affected by frost from time to time wouldn’t be suitable for direct geyser systems.

Suitable for:

* High solar radiation areas
* Medium to good water quality

Not suitable for:

* Frost-prone areas
* Harsh water areas

2. Indirect Solar Geysers

Indirect solar geysers also consist of one or more solar panels or evacuated tubes. Instead of pumping water into the panels directly as one would with a direct system, an anti-freeze substance circulates through the panels.

Once the liquid inside the panels is hot, it flows to the geyser system. The liquid then either circulates in a sleeve that is fitted over the geyser, or into copper pipes inside the geyser thus heating the water. The copper pipes are a less effective way of heating the water in the system because only a small volume of water comes into contact with the pipes at any given time. The pipes also allow less room for water, meaning a 300-litre geyser tank will have less than 300 litres of water due to the presence of the pipes. An indirect geyser system has a longer life span, because the anti-freeze is non-corrosive. It also retains heat longer and can’t freeze, even in the coldest conditions.

Suitable for:

* Low solar radiation areas
* Hard water areas
* Frost-prone areas
* Fast recovery

3. Split/pumped solar geysers

These kinds of geyser systems involve panels which are situated on the roof, while the geyser tank is situated within the roof. This kind of heating does not involve a natural thermosiphon process, but requires a pump in order to move the water for heating lessening the effectiveness, as energy is consumed, running the risk of no hot water if there is no electricity and incurring high maintenance costs on pumps.

Time will show you whether you have made the right purchase. Go for products with a proven history and track record in place.

Important points to consider when choosing the correct Solar Geyser